The stone of eloquence and poison garden of fascinating Blarney Castle, Ireland
Amidst the blue Irish skies and green lands of Blarney, lies the Blarney Castle, an intriguing medieval fortification. One of the features that make this place really popular is the well-known Blarney Stone, also known as ‘The Stone of Eloquence’. According to a legend, anyone who kisses this stone is rewarded with eloquence and persuasiveness, an enticing prize for many of the world’s powerful and famous.
The Blarney Castle is set against the refreshing greens of the gardens dotted with colorful flowers and trees you will find it hard to resist the charm the fort exudes. However, hidden behind the Castle battlements, you will find the new poison garden, which you must enter at your own risk. It is believed that a similar garden once occupied the same site, from as early as the 1800′s, where plants would have been cultivated for both medicinal and culinary purposes.
In this garden, the plants are so dangerous and toxic that they may be kept in large cage like structures. This part of the grounds contrasts largely with the bright green scenes that greet you everywhere else in the grounds.
It contains a collection of poisonous plants from all over the world including Wolfsbane, Mandrake, Ricin, Opium and Cannabis. Many of these are labelled with information about their toxicity and traditional and modern uses. A large number of plants that we now know to be toxic were once used widely as herbal remedies for all sorts of ailments.
The old expression “It will either kill you or cure you” could not have been more apt!