There has been much written in recent months about toxic garden plants. The ones that kill dogs, cats and children, seemingly willy-nilly. At the end of last year there was the tragic tale of a gardener who lost his life after coming into contact with aconites. Admiring this beautiful flower earlier in the week I was reminded of this young man and wondered what he would have thought of the ensuing witch hunt. At the time, and indeed since, the media have recounted many tales of horticultural horrors and demons. Another big bad bogie man (or woman) just waiting to harm us. To many in the gardening community reports that merely “brushing past” could result in death were held with some skepticism. Incidents of poisoning are few and far between in our profession, unlike accidents involving ladders, lawn mowers and (eyes squeezed tight) chainsaws. The world is a dangerous place, so we must teach our children not to walk in front of cars, not to put their hand in the flame, not to jump in the deep end if they can’t swim. We must also teach them not to eat plants unless they have been told it is safe to do so. Mistakes inevitably happen, with sometimes catastrophic consequences, and I am sure this unfortunate event made us a little bit more careful, for a while anyway. It is terribly sad that this son, husband and father’s life was cut short but I am sure, as a gardener, he would not have wanted his poignant story to make a pariah of these wonderful flowers. So do not lock up your daughters (and sons) safe from the dangers lurking outside, let them out into the wicked world and have some fun!