The grounds at Winterbourne contained a variety of plants, including a toxic giant hogweed plant, as well as trees imported from Africa.
Winterbourne's extensive gardens were renovated by a Malaysian businessman prior to the events of And No Birds Sing; however a mysterious disease began afflicting its trees, prompting Daniel Kellaway to invite Professor Julian Marchant and Lecturer in Applied Horticulture Rosemary Boxer at the University of Malmesbury to investigate. After consulting with scientists in Kuala Lumpur, Rosemary was able to establish the diease as a tropical fungus, brought over from Malaysia with the imported trees.
Deadly plot at Winterbourne Edit
While Rosemary sought to identify the mystery disease, Winterbourne became the scene of a plot to kill Daniel by his wife Alicia, and Alicia's mother Mrs Potts, the housekeeper at Winterbourne. The giant hogweed plant growing in the gardens contained a phytophototoxin, which in the presence of sunlight causes a severe reaction upon contact with human skin. Under the pretense on treating Daniel's severe dermatitis, the juice of the toxic giant hogweed was mixed with hydrocortisone cream, in the hope that Daniel's skin would become infected, eventually killing him.
Rosemary and her gardening partner Laura Thyme were however able to prevent this deadly plot from being completed, leading to the arrest of Alicia and Mrs Potts. They were also able to identify Winterbourne as the place where Sam Trent was poisoned, leading to his fatal heart attack.