Ghoul & Gardens: Goth Gardens

Goth lovers, Halloween and Samhain are only one hundred and six days away as I write this blog.

Halloween countdown link

The wealthy Victorians of England enjoyed Goth gardens surrounded by dark iron fences with brilliant red and stunning black roses enough to cause the Queen of Hearts’ (a main character written in C.S. Lewis children’s  1865 novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) head to explode with jealousy.

Sir John Tenniel’s illustration of “The Queen’s Croquet-Ground” in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
1865 published engraving, color-printed by Edward Evans in 1890

Growing up my father created a beautiful rose garden with a variety of colours in our backyard and I helped him plant it under his supervision. I have also planted my own perennial gardens over the years which I thoroughly enjoyed digging in the dirt and later to see the lovely results of our hard work.

A Word of Warning:

If you use a pitch fork for the soil make sure only an adult works with it, my older sister accidentally stuck the pitch fork into her shoe she was wearing. Ouch!

After much screaming and crying my father rushed her to the hospital. She still has the scar on top of her foot to this day.

Design the layout of your garden with lots of round edging to create a natural flow to your garden. Choose plenty of beautiful Black flowers like the Black Cherry rose, Black Baccara rose or a stunning Black Velvet rose bush. Remember black flowers need to be in sunlight to stand out and you can mix them with yellow, white, purple or blue flowers to add to their mystique.

According to The Language of Flowers by Kate Greenway, Black roses symbolise death, hate, an end of an event, goodbyes, and rebirth.

Hello Darkness Iris wikimedia

Below is a great Goth Garden Chart to help you create the Goth garden of your delight.

Dark Flowers for a Goth Garden on Pinterest

Potent Plants:

Queen of the Cosy Mystery, author Agatha Christie was known to keep a Potent Plant garden which she would write about into her murder mystery novels. Agatha Christie’s Potent garden still remains to this day and is maintained at Torrey Abbey Garden in England.  

In Agatha Christie’s novels  4:50 From Paddington and They Do It With Mirrors the murderers were responsible for poisoning several characters in these books with Aconite.

Aconite (monkshood) was the favoured poison to t the unsuspecting victim, if ingested it causes numbness and stomach pain A swift death was certain.

Agatha Christie in her Potent Garden

Another example of this can be found in Agatha Christie’s novel “The Caribbean Mystery.” In this novel, Belladonna was the preferred murder weapon.

In Plantlore it was utilised by the goddesses Bellona (a Roman War goddess), Hecate and Circe.

Belladonna plant photo by Bob Gibbons—FLPA/age fotostock

Belladonna was utilised as an ancient herbal remedy as a seditive. In traditional witchcraft it was applied as a salve, mixed with poppy and opium which would cause hallucinations to aid witches in flying to their covenstead or to experience a bacchanalian carousel. This toxic plant helped activate their visions and astral projections.

This beautiful art below gives one a feeling of flight the witches may have felt after using their shamanic salve.

Witches on the Sabbath (1878) by Luis Ricardo Falero

These are just a few plants grown in a Potent garden since they are lethal and you wouldn’t want your child or pet to nibble on them accidentally.

I suggest you grow some non toxic dark flowers and decorate with live moss to grow over Gothic statues to attain the Goth garden you dream about.

Photo by New England Garden company


In Eastern European Folklore millet seeds, rice, carrot and linen seeds were used for protection against Vampires and were placed inside of vampire coffins or on their grave-site to keep the Vampire busy. Vampires tend to display signs of OCD Obsessive Compulsive Disorder so they would spend hours picking up each seed before they attack their prey. The village folks would spread seeds along the road that led from the revenant’s grave to its’ home.

Fennel seeds helped wards off evil. Traditionally, Cunning folks hung bundles of fennel over doorways and stuffed it into their keyholes to stave off demons, malevolent ghosts and witches.

Snapdragons are great to plant once their blooms fall off they look quite ghoulish.

Snapdragon seeds look like skulls in public domain

In Flowerlore Snapdragons symbolise grace, power deception and deviousness, The ancient Romans and Greeks used snapdragons as an amulet to ward off evil.

Black Prince Snapdragons make a magical pick for your Goth garden.

Black Prince Snapdragons in public domain

Once you grow your goth garden you may never know what or who maybe attracted to it.

An example of real ghost sighting in a garden comes from Jenkyn Place, Hampshire near the English village of Bentley.

A spectral housekeeper named “Mrs Waggs,” haunts the place and a woman in white has been observed roaming the garden along with reports of a phantom coach entering the driveway.

Woman in white ghost source Getty images


Greenway Kate 1846-1901, The Language of Flowers

Christie Agatha The Potent Plant Garden, Patterned After Agatha Christie’s Novels

Hansen, Harold A. The Witch’s Garden pub. Unity Press 1978 ISBN 978-0913300473

The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Dead
© 1994 pp: 545-546

Jenkyn Place, Hampshire Garden Article

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