glass mushroom

Domestic Garden Witch: The Faerie Garden Brought Inside

So maybe you’re a college witch with limited space and money, limited to the one window in your dorm. Or, maybe you’re a witch without extensive backyard space who wants to start up a magical garden. Perhaps you’re a kitchen witch who wants the freshest herbs right at her fingertips.

For many witches, having a garden seems to be a bit of a no-brainer. After all, plants and magic go hand-in-hand. Plus, when thinking of a witch, it’s hard not to think of a cottage in the woods with a little vegetable garden out front. Unfortunately for the majority of us, our cottage in the woods is a tiny flat, and our garden out front is a windowsill with limited space.

This is when it comes time to embrace your craftiness and bring your garden indoors! Not only does it place your garden in a convenient location, it also allows you to freshen the air, recycle what would otherwise harm the earth, and embrace your witchy green thumb!

When You Need the Faerie Inside

Last week, we looked at taking herbs bought from the supermarket and growing them on your windowsill. Next week, we’ll be looking at turning eggshells into cute little indoor herb gardens. But something often overlooked when gardens are brought up in regards to witchcraft is the humble yet adorable faerie garden.

In some traditions, gardens featuring colorful yet small flowers and mosses are cultivated in order to create an ideal environment in order to attract the wee folk so that the witch can work with them. But here we are, witches in high-rise apartments with no backyards or in dorm rooms surrounded by many other people and with no space. And witches who are drawn toward faerie tradition or garden tradition aren’t guaranteed to be in an area where garden space is available.

So what do you do of you’re one of these less fortunate witches? You bring your faerie garden indoors, of course!

Terrarium gardens, bottle gardens, enclosed gardens… whatever you choose to call them, they are ideal low-maintenance gardens that you can decorate and arrange to look similar to nearly any environment you desire. To further their appeal for the busy college student or the cramped apartment resident, they are small and only require watering once in their whole construction.

The Container…

When creating your bottled faerie garden, one of the most important factors to consider is the container. You want a jar or a bottle that is able to maintain an airtight seal. You are essentially going to be creating a bubbled ecosystem, and therefore want to avoid losing any moisture from inside the container. Next up, consider the size in relation to the types of plants and decorations you want on the inside. If you have the space for a glass dome as big as an apothecary bell jar, then great! But perhaps you’re like me and are stuck with only enough space for maybe a large mason jar. If you have a smaller container, you’ll need to adjust for smaller amounts of soil and plant life, as well as smaller decorations that can fit into it.

Building it on Up

Depending upon the environment you want to recreate (who’s to say that faeries can’t be in deserts, huh?), it’s good to start from the bottom up. Make a layer of gravel in the bottom of the jar - larger stones and pebbles that can serve as a reservoir for water that pools below the soil layer. Then over that, place a layer of sand and/or soil.

Next come the plants. Remember to select plants that generally grow small and can handle the environment. While the plants are still small, transfer to your new container. If you’re creating the garden in a narrow-necked bottle, you can use wire from a coat hanger to create a loop/hook with which you can insert and transplant the seedling. Take care not to overcrowd your bottle, as these plants will grow and will have to compete for light and nutrients just as they would outdoors.

Between the plants, begin adding your decorations. I recommend using fairly sterile decorations that will work well in the environment - sand and pebbles for a desert, moss and driftwood for forests, et cetera. That’s pretty! But we’re witches looking to attract attention from the faerie folk. Take it a step further. Select plants that are ideal for attracting the spirits you wish to bring into your home. Use your decorations to create living spaces. Little houses and huts can be found in many craft stores for dioramas and miniature projects!

Enchant crystals and stones that you add to the garden for whatever you wish to manifest with the garden. I have seen beautiful bottle gardens with points of amethyst and quartz sticking up from the ground within! Little glass or plastic mushrooms can be added for further visual appeal, especially in forest-style gardens. For deserts, look for succulents, enchant various stones, and add them. I’d even add an arrowhead or bones to add to the visual appeal while also manifesting protection or whatever qualities that the bones’ former body would bring to mind.

When everything is arranged as you desire, add water. Remember, this is the only time you will be adding water for this garden. Do not flood the container, but do be sure that the reservoir of water is mostly full before sealing the environment.

Place your garden in an area near your window where it can get some indirect sunlight (this is important… you don’t want to cook your plants) throughout the day. Condensation on the inside is normal and even encouraged, as that is how the plants will receive the water all over again. As the plants grow and shed old foliage, the foliage will degrade and fertilize the soil, further feeding the plants.

How Can I Witch This?

As mentioned above, the selection of a container, plants, and decorations are all aspects to making this a witchy garden. Select stones and crystals and plants that resonate with you. But we can take it a little further by decorating the jar with sigils and runes for growth and prosperity.

Place faerie offerings on or near the jar, so that they can enjoy the garden you’ve created for them as they partake. This kind of garden also makes an ideal living altar or living altarpiece! It can easily represent earth on an altar, and with the energy put into it, it becomes a great addition to your workings.

This can also be used as an alternative to the traditional witch bottle or jar spells. Burn petitions and mix them into the soil to give it the energy of your intents while also fertilizing the soil with the nutrient-rich ashes. Use decorations that will contribute to the spell. This is a great idea for sweetening, cleansing, and calming spells that you wish to keep discreet!

May your harvests always be fruitful!
Blessed Be! )O(