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Pontifications on Poison

Being some ramblings on events associated with poisonous plants.

Wednesday 20th February 2013

I’ve decided I’m a disappointed gardener. I’ve had my garden for nearly twelve years so I’m, clearly, not ‘inexperienced’ and ‘amateur’ would be an insult to the many excellent gardeners who do wonderful things with plants just for the enjoyment. But I’m not a lazy gardener because I do make the effort to get out into the garden when possible.

It was possible at the weekend and that’s when I decided I am ‘disappointed’. In my mind, I was going into the garden to dig over the ground around my rosebushes so as to end up with a lovely weed-free, fine tilth. By the time I’d finished, I’d got great lumps of clay giving an appearance similar to the ploughed field at the bottom of the garden.

Actually, thinking about that field, it has remained in its ploughed state for a number of months, often with large expanses of water. How disappointed must the farmer be?

I decided to take some photos of the emerging poisonous plants in the garden just to record how they are doing and see how they turn out later in the year.

The hellebores, of course, are beyond the ‘emerging’ stage and are putting on quite a good show. It is this time of year that I wish I’d been more meticulous about noting down the varieties of the Helleborus purpurea when I planted them.

Helleborus purpurea 


Helleborus purpurea 

The Helleborus foetidus, stinking hellebore, is easier to spot

Helleborus foetidus, stinking hellebore 

The Digitalis, foxgloves, are coming along quite nicely.

Digitalis, foxgloves, 

This one is growing just outside the sunroom windows and ought to be removed but, after last year’s story about the woman with a Verbascum olympicum, Greek mullein, right outside her patio Friday 17th August 2012, I decided to leave it.

Digitalis, foxgloves, 

I’m not sure what to make of the difference between the white flowering variety of Aconitum napellus, monkshood, that I’ve had for some years

Aconitum napellus, monkshood 

And last year’s planting of the original

Aconitum napellus, monkshood 

It may be that the white is more vigorous or it may just be that the blue hasn’t fully established.

I said I was a disappointed gardener and I found something to be disappointed about. I don’t know what has gone wrong with these Narcissus, daffodils, and I won’t know for a couple of weeks whether they will recover.

Narcissus, daffodils 

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