5.22.2009

The Poison Garden

"The author Amy Stewart, 39, who has written three books on the plant world, grows poisonous plants in the garden outside her home in Eureka, Calif. Foxglove, opium poppies and castor beans, among a total of about 30 varieties of toxic plants, are thriving in her garden."
"Ms. Stewart’s poison garden was begun three years ago, when she started working on the book. She wanted a writer’s garden, so she put in a wooden chair, a desk, the bones of a floor lamp. There are also books, some half buried, others nailed to shelves in such a way that their pages turn in the breeze. Disintegrating, they fit in surprisingly well, returning to the earth as naturally as a cornfield after harvest. “Autopsy for an Empire,” with its dried-blood-colored jacket, is planted beside the hellebore, which the Greeks used to poison the water of their enemies. P. D. James’s “Original Sin” and Stephen King’s “Salem’s Lot” sit on a bookshelf, which is also disintegrating.
“These were moldy or torn,” Ms. Stewart says. “I’m not destroying books that had any sort of life in them. I just wanted the sense that the book I’m writing is coming out of the ground. If you put a book in the ground, will you get 10 little baby books out of the ground?” (i love that last line!)

"Ms. Stewart looks through a plant book in her attic. The vials in her apothecary kit once contained poisons and antidotes."

I spotted this Apothecary Bottle Set with Leather Case yesterday for purchase at Three Potato Four and thought it would make a great add on to this story.
Go to The New York Times for more photos on this amazing and scary garden. Or here for the full article.
Also watch this video to find out what she is all about and more about her latest book Wicked Plants.

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