This was the first year I’ve had Monkshood in my witch’s garden. I had tried growing it from seed with no luck. I have little patience for slow germinating seeds. But I found a source for live plants and ordered a couple. Both survived and even bloomed, unusual for Monkshood in its first year. It […]
Witch's Garden Feature
Welcome to a guide to magick herbs and herbalism – witchy plants, white and dark, potions and poisons for the cauldron, as well as goodies for kitchen witches
The Witch’s Garden is a guide to the old ways, old magick and herbal medicine. Learn more about the gardening and gathering practices of our ancestors, be them the wise or cunning women of Europe, or early settlers and Native Americans of the American continent. And follow along with our own zone seven witch’s garden, as I try to nurse a collection of witchy plants through the year.
A notebook of thoughts, ideas, experiments failed and successful in growing a witch’s garden. Since witches are often nocturnal creatures, we also go into moon gardens, and a fair amount of cottage gardening as well.
See what’s blooming in the witch’s garden. Photos and dates for a witch, moon or cottage garden in the U.S. Zone 6
An incomplete as hell herbalist, the science and folklore of the plants, how to grow, how to serve to cure or to kill. Company can be so bothersome, but sure, come in and have a nice cup of tea?
Cowslip is staple of British folklore, herbalism and literature … And I serve the Fairy Queen To dew her orbs upon the green. The cowslips tall her pensioners be. In their gold coats spots you see; Those be rubies, fairy favours; In those freckles live their savours. I must go seek some dewdrops here, And […]
You can’t overestimate the importance of bees in a witch’s garden, for our stinging friends help to pollinate. Just behind them in usefulness in this task are butterflies, and to attract both, plant a bit of Cleome in your herb garden. Additionally, many beekeepers love Cleome as it is an excellent source of nectar, resulting […]
Top: Meadowsweet, right, growing along a path by the river Avon, Barton Country Farm, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire. I have a soft spot for Meadowsweet. Standing in a field of it along the river Avon one July some years ago, trying to rekindle a dying love, I do believe it showed that there is more […]
Top: Poppy Field by Cate Davies. Click here to view larger or purchase a print. I’m standing in the Tate Gallery, years ago, staring at the painting by Sir John Everett Millais of Ophelia. I know the story, and the story of the model, Elizabeth Siddal. It was the Pre-Raphelite movement in painting, the romantic […]
Top: The last rose of the season Dear H., It’s time again, to start putting away the garden for winter. It’s been a couple of months since you left, and I thought you’d like to see how things turned out. The kid and I were in a shop and came upon Halloween decorations. There was […]
Dear H., We are creatures of the night, are we not? It’s like the song says, “the days are okay and the sun can be fun but I live, to see those rays, slip away.” A moon garden is a spot where we can watch as these spirits come to life in our own little […]
I admit I had doubts it would do it. The USDA lists our plant hardiness zone as 6b, which isn’t exactly this plant’s natural habitat. But it did it. There was a single bloom which last four or five days, and as it was dying off the whole trees burst into bloom. The first bloom would […]
Dear H., I was sitting in the garden part of the garden this evening, and I remembered I had a couple of these little bottles of absinthe. It was getting late and I was feeling tired. The absinthe reminded me of you, and how at a moment like that we’d come alive. Those were some […]
Deadly Nightshade … will you die for love? Will you die for beauty? Will you die for powers beyond your wildest imagination. That’s the allure of Belladonna, one of the most famous of all the plants in the witch’s garden. In Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the […]
And where the marjoram once, and sage, and rue, And balm, and mint, with curl’d-leaf parsley grew, And double marigolds, and silver thyme, And pumpkins ‘neath the window climb; And where I often, when a child, for hours Tried through the pales to get the tempting flowers, As lady’s laces, everlasting peas, True-love-lies-bleeding, with the […]
It was this song which included Foxglove that gave me the idea to start a witch’s garden. It was in the spring of last year when I saw my foxglove was in bloom that I recalled poor Charlotte of the Rake’s song, and got to wondering what other deadly plants might be scattered throughout the […]