Magical Garden Ideas: Create a Backyard Sanctuary for Sabbats & Ritual
Every backyard has its own personality. Every gardener has his or her own personality, too. Finding the right garden design and layout will depend on the space you have and your preferences. No matter the space, even if its only a balcony, a backyard sanctuary is possible with a little thought and effort. Ready to turn your garden into a magical backyard sanctuary? Make your backyard a place to meditate, practice spiritual rituals, and simply find peace with these magical garden ideas.
Magical Garden Ideas: Simple Raised Garden Beds
A backyard with a sunny corner is perfect for a raised garden bed. Raised garden beds come in various sizes and made of different materials. Some are made of wood and others of plastic. The wood is nice and natural but the plastic is tougher and lasts longer. Take measurements of where you’d like your raised bed to be and plan accordingly from there. If you decide on two raised garden beds side by side, one can be a magical herb garden and the other a butterfly garden. I can hear the cross-pollination already!
The cedar wood raised garden beds fit perfectly into the right corner of my backyard, directly under a beautiful oak tree I call Father Oak. Raised garden beds don’t require a lot of planning and take just a day to set up. UPDATE: Unfortunately, the cedar wood hasn’t lasted as long as I’d hoped and after four years had to be replaced.
Spiral Herb Garden Ideas
I have a few friends who are herbalists and garden witches who designed herb gardens in a spiral or mandala layout. If you choose to create a spiral herb and flower garden, you’ll need something to act as a barrier to layout the spiral pattern. Basic pavers work well, or for a more natural look, opt for large stones of similar size. I’ve even seen spiral patterns laid out with cheaper plastic garden barrier.
Before you set up your spiral garden, consider whether you’d like stepping stones that travel from the outside of the spiral into the center. Walking spirals is a form of meditation dating back to ancient times. Even if you only have a balcony or small space, a spiral herb garden is possible with a spiral planter!
Plants for Your Backyard Sanctuary
Now for the fun part – the plants and the decorations! Every backyard sanctuary needs magical plants. If you’re a low maintenance type of gardener (like me), I prefer to grow herbs and flowers that tolerate my local climate. This means less watering, less fertilizing, and less maintenance overall. Look into what plants are native to your area. Check out your neighbor’s garden or the local public garden. Take note of the plants that grow well there.
Herbs are easy to grow and can be harvested for magical and medicinal purposes. Some of my favorite herbs for the magical garden include: rosemary, lemon balm, lavender, mint, catnip, sage, rue, passion flower, milkweed, parsley, chives, rose and oregano.
A Sun & Moon Garden
Consider planting a sun and moon garden. Plant sunflowers, daisies, and other sun-loving flowers on one side and moon-loving flowers like moonflower and night-blooming jasmine on the other side. This is particularly beautiful if you plan to perform moon rituals in your garden.
Magical Garden Decor
You have your magical garden all set up and your plants are thriving. Now it’s time to decorate! Depending on your style and spiritual needs, there are many ways to decorate your backyard sanctuary. First think of seating – do you want a bench or chair for meditation purposes? How about a small altar for spiritual ritual and offerings? Tree trunks and large stones make great natural altars for the garden! Hang twinkly lights and garden plaques up to set the mood.
There are green man plaques for your garden gate, as well as sun and moon plaques. There are even small stone pillars for the garden to represent the four elements. Look around local thrift stores and garden stores for deals on decor. In addition, there are goddess and fairy statues online and in garden stores.
If the Celtic magical garden ideas don’t suit your style, why not create a Japanese zen garden? Invest in a Japanese style pagoda to go over your garden. Add a Buddha statue to the corner of the garden. Large dark stones set the perfect Asian ambiance.
Magical Garden Ideas for Fairy Lovers
If you have small children in the house (or if you’re just a fairy lover like me), start a fairy garden. Fairy gardens can be small or large, simple or elaborate. Grab a couple plain birdhouses from a local craft store and paint them in whimsical colors for the fairies. Set them in your garden next to a small bird bath or near a large tree. I’ve seen people use an old wheelbarrow as a fairy village! Sometimes you can find wheelbarrows and old tubs at yard sales or estate sales to re-purpose for your magical fairy garden. Fairy garden decorations can be anything of natural origin (seashells, rocks, etc) or you can purchase online! There are SO many options for fairy gardens these days. You can use old dollhouse furniture (as long as it can stand the weather).
Garden Set Up for Ritual
If you’d like to perform your esbats under the moon or sabbats under the sun, set up a seating area in your backyard sanctuary. Chairs in a circle around a firepit is the perfect layout for coven meetings and spiritual gatherings. It not only provides visibility of the entire group, it physically lays out the magical circle for ritual.
Think about the kind of seating you can afford – plastic adirondack chairs are available for cheap at nearby Home Depots and Lowes stores. Use large stones or large logs as natural chairs. Cast iron chairs (while more expensive) add a pretty Victorian gothic ambiance to any magical garden.
Include All 4 Elements in Your Magical Garden
The elements are important in sabbat and esbat rituals. Check out these magical garden ideas to represent all four elements:
- Earth: flowers, trees, herbs, Green Man plaques, goddess statues
- Air: wind chimes, air spinners, fairy statues, bird feeders, bat and owl houses
- Fire: firepit, chiminea, tiki torches, solar-powered lights, bee hives
- Water: koi pond, water fountain, bird bath