(G) Gardens… of the Magical Kind

My mother was a true genius in the art of gardening. She could literally take a barren patch of dirt, and make it come alive – bursting forth with colorful blooms and greenery. A welcoming sanctuary for friends and family who often made their way to her door for a bit of that wonderful southern hospitality which she was also so well known (and loved) for. That her green thumb was not passed on to me, is lamentable, for no matter how many times I’ve tried, it’s clear that I really have no aptitude for gardening.

At this point you might be wondering why I would choose this particular topic, and the truth is, despite my obvious “black thumb”, I’ve always had a fervent desire to dig in the dirt and to make things grow. So if I can’t do it (not that it ever stops me from trying from time to time), at least I can offer up some tips to others, with the hope that they will have much more success at it, than I ever have.

Something to keep in mind, is that even if you don’t have a large yard (or a yard at all), it doesn’t mean that you still can’t have your own garden. It’s very easy to buy a couple of large containers, or even plastic tubs from Walmart will do in a pinch. In any case you first need to a little planning before starting out, so take some time to consider the following –

  • where are you putting your garden… will it be indoors or outdoors, large or small?
  • what’s your climate zone… is it warm and sunny for most of the year, or do you have all 4 seasons?
  • what sort of sunlight does the area get…do you have a really sunny spot, or will there be partial shade?
  • what’s the purpose of your garden… are you needing ritual herbs, or looking for more culinary delights?

Once you’d figured out your basics you can look to the buying of seeds and dirt (if needed), and to the actual digging and preparing the earth. If you are creating an outdoor garden and have plenty of space, you may also want to consider how you are going to design your garden – will it be a basic square, a circle, or maybe crescent shaped, or any combination that suits you. Will it be simply a functional garden, or will it be a sanctuary of sorts as well? Maybe with a few decorative areas where one can sit in quiet contemplation, or even a bit of space for a small solitary ritual.

Whatever you choose, have fun with it. Gardening is a lot of work, but it’s also very rewarding as well – not only seeing the physical results of one’s work, but on a spiritual level as well.  Clearly not Pagan, but the following speaks true I think, and seemed fitting words to end this on…

The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,–
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.

Excepted from “God’s Garden” by Dorothy Frances Gurney


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