How to Create a Witch's Garden
Growing your own herbs and flowers is an excellent way to connect with their energy, magick, and medicinal properties, and creating your own Witch’s garden is a brilliant way to accomplish this. You can choose to create a new witchy garden, or you can simply "witch up" an existing space. Select the herbs, flowers, and plants you use based on their magickal attributes, colors, or even their whimsical or witchy names.
Your witch’s garden can be permanent or temporary, formal or casual, complex or simple. It can fill a large garden area or a small spot on a balcony, patio, or indoors.
Use this space for rituals, to harvest magickal ingredients for spells, or as a place of peace, healing, and renewal. They also make excellent places for meditation and quiet contemplation.
To magick up a spot that’s already growing, you can add items such as a witchy sign, crystals, wind chimes, dream catchers, mirrors (make sure they don't receive direct sunlight), pentacles, moons, suns, stars, gazing balls, twinkle lights, weather vanes, statues, cauldrons as planters, altar space, etc. Additionally, you can always add more magickal herbs and flowers to the ones already growing there!
Willow, stick designs, and brooms can also be incorporated to create a witchy look.
How to Start Creating Your Witch's Garden
Begin by cleansing and blessing the space you plan to use. Smudge the space with your favorite incense or sage. You can also use sound by ringing a bell or using a singing bowl at each of the quarters and around the entire space. Another cleansing option is to asperge the garden space with magickal water such as moon water, sun water, blessed sea salt & water, or even your favorite magickal tea brewed for this purpose.
Once clean, bless your garden space by singing, chanting, or drumming over it or by simply saying a Garden Blessing. Pick one that speaks to you or better yet, write your own! You can also repeat this process with your garden tools and each new plant you bring in if you wish.
Now that your space is cleansed and blessed, you can begin planting. To add extra witchiness, consider moon gardening by using the phase and sign of the moon to determine what you will plant and when.
Witchy Garden Themes
The theme of your witch’s garden can be a specific manifestation goal such as: healing, love, protection, prosperity, fertility, peace, psychic powers, etc. Select herbs and flowers that are magickally associated with your focus. Include the use of flower color to match and enhance your magickal goal.
Some examples to get you started:
- Love: roses, lavender, jasmine, yarrow, pinks and reds
- Psychic powers: bay, mugwort, clary sage, lemon, blues and purples
- Fertility: fig, apple, vitex, myrtle, damiana, reds, salmon, and greens
- Prosperity: basil, mint, poppies, honeysuckle, greens and golds
Another option is a general magickal theme such as: magickal herbs, Faerie garden, Alice in Wonderland, Moon garden, poison garden, Gothic garden, a specific Goddess or God, elemental, astrological, meditation, etc. Again select plants connected to your theme, add décor and statuary, and incorporate flower and foliage color to achieve your desired look and energetic feel.
What follows are some specific garden themes and ideas to get you underway, however don't let these suggestions limit you. Use your imagination, get creative, and make it your own.
Divide the garden into four quadrants plus a center. Use a compass to determine the direction and plant Air associated plants in the east, Fire plants in the south, water plants in the west, earth plants in the north. In the center you may wish to place an altar, meditation, ritual area, or a focal point such as a favored tree.
Alternately, you can dedicate the entire garden to a specific element.
- For a garden dedicated to air, focus on drawing in winged creatures of all sorts. You can do this by planting flowers and herbs favored by butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees.
- If you wish to attract dragonflies, add a water feature. A bird bath is a lovely choice since it will entice another winged friend - birds to visit your garden. As will bird seed and berry producing plants and flowers such as sunflowers, lemon balm, elderberries, and juniper.
- Include some nighttime winged friends by adding a bat box to your yard or garden. A decrease in mosquitos is an added benefit.
- Another way to honor Air in the garden is through fragrance. Pick highly fragrant flowers and herbs and enjoy their sweet smell as it floats through the air with each breeze.
- Use hot color flowers, herbs, and foliage such as reds, magenta, oranges, yellows, etc.
- Include hot veggies like peppers, onions, and garlics. Or even some stinging nettle.
- Another way to honor fire in the garden is with a small fire pit, chiminea, tiki torches, lanterns or candles. Tea lights in empty mason jars are a safe option. Votives and tea lights can be put in thick glasses such as wine, martini, or brandy as well (never leave a flame unattended).
- Be sure to add some dragons and salamanders to encourage these magickal beings of fire to bless your space.
- Incorporating a water feature in your garden is a marvelous way to invite in the magick of water. If space is limited, it can be as simple as a table top fountain. A bird bath, larger fountain, waterfall, or pond are nice options for larger spaces. Add some aquatic plants such as water lilies or horsetail. These can be grown in a half barrel, if a pond or fountain isn't feasible.
- Welcome the energy of water by incorporating blues hues. Blue is one of the rarest colors to find in plants. To fill in you may also wish to use, purples, whites, and pinks.
- Decorate using shells, starfish, mermaid money (sand dollars), mermaids, and water nymphs.
- Pretty much everything you’d find in a garden is already connected to the element of earth. To add to that, you may wish to include some grounding elements. Grounding elements could include seats made of tree stumps and/or wooden, willow branch, and stick accents and furniture. Rocks and boulders can also be used.
- If space allows adding trees can be a lovely touch. These can be shade trees, sacred Celtic trees, fruiting or nut trees, or simply a favorite existing tree.
- An abundant vegetable or herb garden is another way to incorporate the element of earth and the bounty of mother nature.
- Create walls of green all around your property, yard, or balcony. Just keep filling your space with plants until it’s green everywhere you look. This also gives your space more privacy for your magickal workings.
- Remember to add some garden gnomes and dwarves to honor the earth elementals.
Create a garden in which all of the plants are connected to your specific astrological sign. Or include plants connected with your sun, moon, and rising signs combined. A third option, is to include the sun sign of everyone who lives in your home. These can be separated into personal areas or all mingled together.
Another possibility is to build an astrology wheel. To do this, section off a portion of your yard or garden in the shape of a circle. Divide the circle into 12 parts and plant herbs and flowers connected to each astrological sign in each section.
sage, stinging nettle
rose, lily, daisy
lavender, lemon balm, yarrow
lilac, lily of the valley
poppy, white rose, water lily
fennel, st. john’s wort, chamomile
skullcap, mint, rosemary
coltsfoot, vervain, hemlock
pansy, black poppy
iris, violets, water lilies
Further decorate your astrological garden with celestial accents such as moons, suns, stars, and planets.
With moon gardens, the goal is to use mostly white, silver, and grey flowers and foliage with the occasional splash of pale yellow, blue, pink, or lavender. This will cause the plants to reflect the moonlight and essentially glow.
Give some thought to the fact that you will most likely want to make use of this garden at night. Include plants and flowers that are night-scented and night-blooming varieties. While nearly all night-blooming flowers are white, not all night-scented flowers are. In these cases, look for the palest color you can find.
- Night-blooming and night-scented white flowers: Datura, moon flowers, night blooming jasmine, white morning glories, Shasta daisies, white roses, night scented stock, night scented orchid, white lilies (note: all parts of lilies – even the pollen, are poisonous to cats).
- Grey or silver foliage: dusty miller, artemisias including mugwort and wormwood, lamb’s ear’s, lavender, dianthus.
Decorate the area with other moon symbols, statues, décor, and art. Glowing rocks, stepping stones, and orbs are another nice touch to a moon garden.
In some ways this is the opposite idea of the moon garden in that you will be searching out black, dark purple, and maroon flowers and foliage.
- Dark colored flowers: black magic iris, raven girl iris, black magic rose, queen of the night tulips, black star calla lily, black bleeding hearts, black velvet petunias, black satin dahlia, black hollyhocks, chocolate cosmos, onyx odyssey hellebore, black jack gladiolus, Rohees queen fuchsia, black knight butterfly bush, black barlow columbine, poke weed (black berries and red stems).
- Dark colored foliage plants: raven’s wing plant, mystic dreamer dahlia, purple basil, black dragon coleus, dark star coleus, black coral elephant ear, black mondo grass, cimicifuga brunette.
Decorate your gothic garden with gargoyles, weather vanes, miniature coffins, head stones, and black iron accents.
Brand new black wrought iron planters, arches, and furniture can get quite pricey. A less expensive option is to search thrift stores and yard sales for any kind of outdoor metal furniture, then paint it black. I’ve had good success doing this simply using flat black spray paint. You may wish to select paint specifically designed for outdoor use.
A bat box is another clever addition to your Gothic Witch’s Garden as are frog ponds, and spider webs left undisturbed.
How to Use a Large Space for a Witch's Garden
If you have a goodly amount of outside space, you can use larger scale garden design to create a magickal space. Consider a Spiral, Labyrinth, Maze, Medicine Wheel, or Wheel of the Year. These are excellent to use as meditation and trance tools. You can build your spiral, labyrinth, or maze from shrubs, bushes, herbs, or simply use rocks to define your space and circle the outside with plants.
With Medicine Wheel and Wheel of the Year gardens, start with a circle shape. Divide it into the number of sections you want—four quadrants for a medicine wheel, eight and possibly a center for the Wheel of the Year.
Another enchanting design is to build a cauldron over a ‘fire’. Using a real cauldron as a planter suspended over flowers as the ‘fire’ you can create a fun witchy look to your yard or garden.
How to Create a Witch's Garden With Little or No Space
Don’t have a lot of or any garden space? No problem! Most herbs and some flowers can be grown in pots. Pots can be magickally decorated and placed on decks, patios, balconies, or indoors.
Remember, you can always take things into the Realm of the Fae by going miniature, this is especially helpful when space is limited. Use a miniature rose, miniature succulents, or a bonsai-ed plant or tree. Add a small faerie house or faerie offerings to the base of the plant.
Alternately, build a Faerie terrarium, creating a Faerie garden that can fit virtually anywhere. Faerie terrariums can be made using an empty fish bowl, glass jar, vase, or even an old glass coffee pot or broken terracotta pot.
Even a bouquet of fresh flowers or herbs on a table can bring their magick inside. Witch it up further by decorating the vase with stickers, ribbons, or magickal symbols to match your intention.
Houseplants are another option. Not only do houseplants clean the air in your home, many of them have magickal associations as well.
Magickal Houseplants: Aloe, African violets, air plants, maiden hair fern, orchids, spider plants, prayer plants, red oxalises, Chinese money plant, begonia maculata, alocasia frydek.
Spaces With Limited Sun Exposure
Want a Magickal Garden but don’t have much sunlight? No problem! There are lots of shade loving magickal plants! Not only do these plants require little light, many can also be grown in pots. The dark faeries and elves of shadow and shade will love a garden space just for them! Decorate the space to invite magickal beings of the shadow realms to enjoy and bless your space.
Shade tolerant flowers, herbs, and plants: Foxglove, hydrangea, fuchsia, bleeding heart, sweet woodruff, angelica, anise, chives, cilantro, mint, parsley, lemon balm, ferns, hostas (many of these come in dark and vibrant colors).
As you can see the options are virtually endless. Nearly any space can be turned into a Witch’s Garden. I hope the ideas here inspire you to create your own magickal garden spot. If you already have your own Witch’s garden feel free to share pics of you space and any tips you have in the comments below.
References and Resources
Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham
Garden Witchery: Magick from the Ground Up by Ellen Dugan
Bud Blossom and Leaf by Dorothy Morrison
Ortho's All about Attracting Hummingbirds and Butterflies; Part of the Ortho's All About Gardening Series by Michael D. McKinley