Saturday, August 14, 2010

oh! the delights of a wicked garden!

As I sip a glass of Duplin Scuppernog wine bottled in North Carolina, I work on my art journals for deadly and wicked gardens.  I love growing poisonous plants - they truly amaze me, their beauty,  their disguise, their quiet powers.  Even plants I didn't grow on purpose in my garden are poisonous, such as azaleas, daffodil and hyacinth bulbs.  There are many more than you would believe.
So to coordinate with my steampunk stories involving dangerous plants, The Orchid Collector, Marquette de Fleur and The Foxglove Broadsides,()a novel)  I listen to the languorous and atmospheric goth/steampunk band, Life's Decay,  from France, (how appropriate!) as I create Deadly Garden journals... a smattering of botanical prints, a bit of explanation, various embellishments and handmade papers, a warning here and there, with plenty of room for wicked gardeners to write of their own fascinations and experiments.
I've been cultivating poisonous plants for over 29 years, ever since I had a tiny garden in Dracut, Mass. near the shores of Lake Massacuppic and was curiously surprised when a rogue plant sprouted and grew to about 3 feet.  Research led to discover it was Deadly Nightshade and I've been hooked on deadly plants since. I've only been able to have gardens off and on, but Foxglove is my mainstay. (If we ever meet, ask me about my own Digitalis Purpura rush to the emergency room).
I'd already been inspired to make a  poison or deadly garden journal when the Widow Kate Next of Steampunk Empire told me about Amy Stewart's amazing book, Wicked Plants.  I still don't own a copy but will after reading portions and hearing Amy's delightful talk on her book. Like me, she takes a wicked pleasure in the macabre.  Amy has a wildly humorous side but is also a highly knowledgeable horticulturist with many books for the care of normal plants and  flowers under her belt. 
As I write this,  a frightful dark and threatening storm is blowing in, thrashing the trees, darkening the sky to dusk, even though it's only 5:00 pm, as if nature would chastise me for exploiting her decadent darlings.


  1. I think I'd have a reaction just being in the vicinity of those plants!

  2. When my husband says if he dies I'd be the main suspect because of my books, it's funny. You might really be suspect! ;-)


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