Hi, my loves and welcome to WiccaNow. I’ve been covering some of my favourite rituals and spells recently, like this abundance drawing spell and a home protection ritual but today I wanted to divert back to another topic I’m passionate about. A couple of weeks ago I was covering a lot of ground about plants and herbs. I talked about herbs for luck and herbs for protection as well as herbs for love spells and the origins of healing herbs. Today I want to continue on this path and answer some commonly asked questions and give you some tips and tricks on how to create your very own magical witch’s garden.
In order to make sure no one feels excluded, I just want to clarify that you don’t have to have an actual outdoor garden in order to create a witch’s garden! I, for example, live in an apartment. I don’t have a balcony and I don’t have that much space. I do however have a little natural light through a few of my windows and an abundance of pots with plants in them all over the house.
To me, this is just as much a witch’s garden as a sprawling plot filled with herbs, flowers and trees. Don’t get me wrong, I dream of a sprawling plot to garden in often but due to my current city-loving ways this isn’t currently an achievable option so I’ve learned to compromise!
What is a Witch’s Garden?
A witch’s garden is a way to connect with nature and the natural world in an increasingly concreted and sterile environment. Gardening lets us feel our connection to the earth and allows us to ground ourselves. Did you know that there are actually scientific studies researching the health benefits of grounding? We should all put our bare feet on the ground a little more regularly.
There is something absolutely magical about having your hands in the earth and then watching plants grow and flourish through your labour. While gardening can be a lot of hard manual labour, I’m talking about the bags of compost I have to lug up 3 flights of stairs, they are also immensely useful.
A witch’s garden can contain all the things you need to use in your spell and ritual work. It provides healing plants so that you can cure small problems naturally. It can grow produce which you can use your kitchen spells. Overall, I’d say a witch’s garden, no matter how small it is, is a wonderful tool which can heal, protect and provide for you both magically and physically.
Witches Gardens in History
Did you know that witches gardens have been around for a very long time? I’m not sure that you would have called them “witches gardens” originally, due to the term “witch” being a less than desirable title for a good length of time, but nonetheless healing gardens have old origins.
Early history has shown the use of medicinal plants as treatments for illnesses as early as 3000BC, with other evidence pointing to the use of herbs as healing tools as early as 60,000 years ago. Personally, I consider any garden that is intended for use in healing as a magical garden, so in my opinion, witches gardens have been around for over 5,000 years!
Before doctors became the go-to for any ailments, people would travel to find a man or woman who had knowledge of herbal lore and a garden in order to cure themselves. Amazing how this was later turned on its head and used as evidence of witchcraft during the witch trials. Some poor man or woman was out there trying to help people and instead was burned or drowned for it. The world is a messed up place sometimes.
What Plants Grow in a Witch’s Garden?
To be honest, you can grow whatever plants you want in your witch’s garden! It really depends on what your aim is in this garden. Are you growing herbs to dry and use at a later date or are you planting herbs to keep on windowsills for protection? Do you have a large outdoor space where you can plant a lot or a limited space and you just want to know the basic plants you should keep around? Below are the herbs I keep as my “baseline”.
My Top Herbs for a Witch’s Garden
- Lemon Balm
What Plants do Witches Use?
Witches use everything available to them that they have knowledge about! The more I learn at the moment the less I realise I know, although I think that this is the case with most things in life. A couple of the most common plants in a witches inventory are of course rosemary and sage. Both used as cleansing and protection herbs.
How Do You Grow sage?
Sage is a strong plant which can grow almost anywhere. It does tend to prefer a lot of sun and enjoys well-drained soil. It’s great to grow in an indoor or balcony garden because it actually likes to be contained in a pot. Sage can be difficult to grow from seeds but takes very well to being propagated through cuttings. While sage will grow faster if fertilized a lot, this can negatively affect how strong its flavour is. Sage likes to be planted next to carrots and tomatoes.
Where Does Sage Grow Wild?
I think sage can grow all over the place in the wild due to its hardiness and drought surviving abilities. The most amazing wild sage I have ever seen growing though has been in Croatia. I went on a sailing trip with some friend and we stopped in the Kornati Islands. What looked like bare, dry hills ended up being, on closer inspection, a sage filled wonderland which was just incredibly beautiful.
What is a Moon Garden?
Did you know that not all flowers bloom during the day? While the majority of them tend to open for the sun, there are a select few that open at night for the moonlight. Isn’t that a magical thought? I have dreams of a large garden one day with a moon and sun garden. The beauty of flowers at night with the moonlight streaming down and the scent of night-blooming flowers rising must be one of the most magical things ever.
Not all moon garden plants flower at night, there are some that keep their flowers open but are white so stand out in the darkness.
Common plants for a moon garden
- Night-blooming Jasmine
- Evening Primrose
- Water Lilies – although only some bloom at night
- White roses
- Night Phlox
- Nicotiana alata
- Datura – this is highly poisonous so be careful where you plant it, make sure it’s not within touching distance of children or pets.
- Casa Blanca Lily – again careful with these, they are toxic to cats and dogs.
- Evening Stock
- Night Scented Orchid
- Four O’clock Flower – Named this due to the fact that they open in the evening.
- Night Blooming Cereus
What Types of Witches Gardens are there?
There are a few different formats for planting a witch’s garden depending on your aesthetic and what you want from your garden. Do whatever makes you happy is my advice. You don’t need to follow any of these formats, they are just included as suggestions should you need a little inspiration. If you are planting in pots, all these garden types will still be possible, you might just need to get a little creative with where you place things! Maybe you could put pots into different windows for an astrological garden, or in four corners of your lounge for an elemental garden.
A Moon Garden
See above for an explanation.
An Elemental Garden
Here you dedicate your garden to the different elements. You can create 4 different sections which correspond to Fire, Water, Earth and Air. I prefer to mix everything together as to me everything fits and I’d rather companion plant than have 4 sections. Each to their own here though.
Plants for a Fire Garden
Anything with bright colours or spicy vegetables and herbs. Think along the lines of chillis, capsicums, garlic and shallots along with flowers bright orange chrysanthemums and fiery red roses.
Plants for a Water Garden
Here is a great opportunity to have a small water feature. Maybe you want to place a birdbath in this section, or an old wine barrel filled with water where you can also grow a water lily or two. Plant anything with a blue/purple/green colour or anything that reminds you of water. Lavender would work well here and smells amazing.
Plants for an Earth Garden
In all honesty, the garden is already in the earth, so you can let your imagination run wild here and pretty much plant anything you want. You might want to include some mushrooms here, although they can be very tricky to grow.
Plants for an Air Garden
To create a garden dedicated to air, think about any plants which have a lightness to them. Maybe a beautifully climbing jasmine vine or a passionfruit vine. I also would plant things that attract flying creatures. I’m all for planting insect-friendly gardens, insects have a hard time surviving at the moment and need all the helping plants they can get!
Bees are most attracted to bright colours, particularly purple because they have ultraviolet vision. White flowers are also easy for them to find along with blues. If you really want to dedicate yourself to an air-garden, consider getting a beehive. They are amazing to watch, give bees a much needed safe space and pollinate the rest of your garden for you as a thank you for housing them. Make sure you are allowed to have a beehive in your area before you install one though!
A Medicinal Herb Garden
Plant all the things that are useful in healing magic and have healing qualities. There is so much scope here to plant so many things that it’s really hard to narrow down what would be most useful. I would plant a willow tree if I had space, along with witch hazel, poppies, every herb under the sun and plenty of insect-friendly plants and flowers. Here is a detailed blog post about planning a medicinal garden.
An Astrological Garden
Many plants are associated with different astrological signs. If astrology is your thing, maybe you want to create a garden split into 12 sections, with each section being dedicated to a particular sign. This is a fun way to have a mixed garden encompassing lots of different plants while still sticking to your aesthetic and ideas. You could include some astrology related symbols at the head of each section if you like. If you’re good at making things, you could hand-carve each sign onto a piece of wood to place at the front of each section.
How to Plant Your Witch’s Garden
Prepping the soil
Always make sure that you are creating a good base for your garden. Before you start, make sure that you compost and mulch well and give the ground some love before you plant anything. Without this, nothing will flourish. Isn’t that a metaphor for life, put in the hard yards and lay the groundwork or else your garden might look good for a season but will soon wither away to nothing.
A Small Garden Ritual before You Start Planting
Whenever I prepare a new pot for planting, I always like to do a small ritual over the pot before I begin planting so that the soil is protected and provided with abundance.
- Prepare your soil. This could be in a pot or over a whole garden bed.
- Draw a protection symbol and an abundance symbol in the soil with your finger.
- Close your eyes and take 5 deep and calming breaths.
- With your eyes still closed, focus on the soil you have just prepared. Imagine the seeds that will germinate there or the roots that will grow down into the soil. Imagine the plants you will plant and how they will thrive in the rich soil you have provided them.
“ Garden beds which I have prepared, I wish you health and will provide for you with great care. So Mote it Be.”
- Repeat whenever you prepare the soil for a new garden bed or pot.
A Short Blessing for when You’ve planted Your Witch’s Garden
Once you’ve planted your garden (or pot/s) I like to say a small blessing in order to protect my new plants and promote abundant growth.
- Close your eyes and focus on the plants growing strong roots, stems and leaves.
“Seed and stem, leaf and shoot I ask that you please take root. Let me provide you with all that you need, to bring you health and prosperity. So Mote it Be.”
- Repeat whenever you’re in the garden and want to give it a little magical boost.
How to Create a Witch’s Garden When you’re Short on Space
As I mentioned earlier, you can get pretty creative when it comes to how you make your garden. Plant everything in pots and place them around your home. Check out where the light comes in and make sure that the plants that prefer sun, like rosemary and sage, are placed in the areas where the most sun shines. If you live in a mini apartment and don’t even have window sills, you can still create a small garden! Think about making a small terrarium to keep on your desk or dresser. Mini cacti for protection will grow well with almost no space and can handle a lot of neglect if you aren’t home that much.
To me, the idea of a garden is all about the intention of having one. Size really shouldn’t matter here and your garden will thrive whatever sized apartment or house that you have if you look after it correctly.
What Does a Kitchen Witch Do?
This is a question that is often asked in relation to gardening so I thought I’d answer it. A kitchen witch is a witch who enjoys using the kitchen like a magical tool and bases their magical practices in things like cooking and baking. As a kitchen witch, every time you cook something, you have the opportunity to infuse this dish with intent and magic.
Imagine you are cooking a meal for your family. You might stir the pot of soup you are making and imagine you are stirring love and care into the nourishing meal you are providing. You might bake bread and knead protective energies and strength into the dough for anyone who eats it. You might cook with a particular herb in order to harness its magical properties.
A kitchen witch might have his or her altar set up in the kitchen, and might perform a small cleansing ritual every time they use the kitchen. A kitchen witch will try to match his or her intent with what they are making. Say I am trying to encourage healing for someone who has a cold. I would make a broth and infuse that broth with a healing intention focused on the person I’m making the broth for. If I wanted to invite luck into my life I might make a magical pesto with basil and mint. You get the drift right?
I identify partly as a kitchen witch although I’ve chosen not to pigeonhole myself to just one thing as I believe you can identify as more than one type of witch.
I’ve written a longer post all about kitchen witchery here if you want to read more.
So, my magical gardeners, I hope I’ve given you a few ideas and tips to help you build up your own magical witch’s garden. May it thrive and blossom into abundance!
Until next time,
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