That’s A Lot of Poison.

It would seem my plant stocktaking has been successful so far: I now happen to know most of the plants growing around our house and have even written them down, just in time (for cutting and fertilizing, of course).

What I also know now, since plants do not enjoy any data protection and can be wikipediaed, are their official names, their parents and their most important traits. While some of them could be admired as divas (can’t call plants pretentious, sorry), they are also all of them sturdy, self-sufficient, no-nonsense all-rounders, if a bit retro (can’t call plants outdated, either).

What many of them also are, is poisonous as heck. This happens to surprise me. There must have been a time when rhododendron, cherry laurel, lily of the valley or blue cypress were required in any respectable German garden, because they are still so ubiquitous – but had anyone ever told the happy gardeners they were purchasing pure poison?

While we would love to own only plants useful to birds and insects, we do not plan to throw away the plants we got, so I will take care to bring our rhododendra to bloom even though my appreciation for the white and pink flowers is terribly mellow. I do hope plants can’t read me and will simply do their thing.


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