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The snow that’s covered my yard for too long now has finally begun to thaw and the grass underneath is surprisingly green. Despite my best efforts this winter, my indoor plants have barely been hanging on and I think my treated windows are to blame. Without that sweet, sweet sunshine it’s hard to get through the dark and cold periods of our lives. I know, Aloe Vera, me too.
It’s tempting to start digging and planting in my backyard with wild abandon, but I know that there’s still a few more whispers of winter to come before spring has firmly taken her place. Here in Northeast Ohio we’re considered to be in Zone 6, which means that our last frost happens between mid March and mid April. For now I have to ignore the siren’s call of my seed packets. I’m not too put out by this though; Capricorns love to plan and I’ve already come up with three fun ways to turn our backyard into our own magickal garden. Before I dive into our plans, I want to give a few tips that even the most mundane gardener uses.
- I mentioned being in Zone 6, and this refers to the gardening zones that are determined by where you live and what the weather patterns are. A quick Google search can easily show you which zone you’re in and when your last frost is most likely to be so you can begin planting outdoors. If you plant too soon, an unexpected cold snap can weaken your baby seedlings or even prevent them from germinating altogether.
- Pay attention to the soil and sun requirements for your plants and keep this in mind when you plan your magickal garden. Rosemary can survive in light shade, but it thrives in full sun.
- Some plants do well at staying in their lane but mint doesn’t know the meaning of personal space and will spread like a weed. Keep this in mind when plotting out your magickal garden and consider putting plants like this in their own containers in the ground. Mint spreads via its root system, so this holds it nice and secure and gives its neighbors some privacy.
Now that we’ve got some of the basics down, let’s talk magick!
The Use of Symbols in Your Magickal Garden
Sigils, runes, and other symbols are significant parts of many witches' and pagans' practices. Using these symbols to shape your magickal garden elevates the look of your garden, as well as reinforces your intentions.
In this photo, Anita Marshall on Pinterest used a mixture of dark mulch and light colored bricks to contrast beautifully and create a pentacle for her garden. See how she uses each section within the pentacle for different plants, and even has a bird bath in the center. Very simply put, pentacles represent the unity of the elements, and this is a beautiful way to honor this sacred symbol.
Elemental Themed Magickal Garden
For these next two sections, knowing your herbal correspondences will be helpful. The Green Witch: Your Complete Guide to the Natural Magic of Herbs, Flowers, Essential Oils, and More by Arin Murphy-Hiscock is a quick read with good info for beginners, whereas Scott Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs offers in depth information on most plants that are used in the various forms of witchcraft.
Though plants come from the earth, they do still have correspondences with other elements. If you are trying to feel more closely connected with a certain element, dedicating a part of your magickal garden to this element is a wonderful idea! Here's a few suggestions to get you started:
- Earth related plants and herbs include Beets, Honeysuckle, Mugwort, and Tulips
- Fire related plants and herbs include Angelica, Basil, Carnations, and Damiana
- Air related plants and herbs include Agrimony, Bee Balm, Caraway, and Dandelions
- Water related plants and herbs include African Violets, Lemon Balm, Cabbage, and Daisies
As you can see, even common weeds such as dandelions can add to your magickal garden! All the more reason to let them be instead of painstakingly pulling them out.
Using your Magickal Garden for Spellcrafting
Maybe all of this sounds nice, but you want to grow things specifically for that dream pillow you've been working on. Theming your garden around your type of magic works well too! Divination, protection, and healing spells are some of the most popular types and will be used in our examples below.
- Protection related plants and herbs include Basil, Dill, and Garlic
- Divination related plants and herbs include Hibiscus, Mugwort, and Patchouli
- Healing related plants and herbs include Calendula, Lavender, and Onion
Of course there’s way more than just these types of magick and just these plants. Doing your own research is part of the fun in figuring out what’s best for you.
The different ways to personalize your garden for your magickal needs are infinite and only as limited as your imagination and working space. You can even work together with these different methods! I love the idea of making a pentacle garden and having each of the five points filled with elementally corresponding plants. For best results make sure to study up on your plants' needs, and as always use great soil. Claire here on Solitary Farmhouse Witch wrote a lovely article a while back about composting, check it out here. Thanks for reading, and as always, have a lovely day!