For many years I’ve tried a hand at gardening and sadly failed. I’ve killed numerous rosemary plants, to which when people hear this they say “what?! How do you kill a rosemary plant? They’re so resilient!” Yes, I’ll say it again, I’ve killed numerous rosemary plants. Until this Spring, I’d been rarely successful at keeping plants alive much less flourishing. The occasional potted basil plant or pepper plant was all I could keep from withering away into nothing.
Then Spring of 2017 rolled around and I got an inexplicable urge to set up a raised garden bed. I talked to my husband about it, he agreed to help me, and we built a sixteen square foot raised garden bed in our backyard under the shade of an oak canopy. One side of the bed would be my herb and veggie garden, while the other side would be my pollinator garden (reserved for flowers and plants that attract butterflies and bees). The set up process was not nearly as easy as I thought it would be, but after building the bed, laying down rock, weed liner, soil, and compost, the garden was ready for green life. From the local nursery, I purchased flowers for the butterflies: pentas, butterfly bush, and African bush daisies. These are all flowers that butterflies and bees feed from and flowers that flourish in my subtropical climate. For the herb and veggie garden, I started with rosemary, basil, habanero and jalapeno peppers, cilantro, and marigolds (among others).
This time around I knew I would be successful at gardening. I could just feel it. Putting the work into setting up the garden automatically gave me a sense of accomplishment and turned my imagined sacred space into an actual physical space. For years I’ve wanted a garden in which I could grow herbs and plants, just like my grandmother did. I always looked at plants as food-stuff. Things to be used in food and tea and crafting. I understood but never fully realized the magnitude of a garden’s healing power until this year.
The earth’s energy permeates all life around us. A sacred garden is a space in which one can not only sow seeds and watch them grow and fruit, but also feel the loving vibrations from Mother Earth. When I dig my hands into the soil, when I plant a new moon flower seedling or harvest a batch of overgrown mint, all of these things draw me closer to Mother Earth. To be so close to the earth, to actually feel it in your hands, and to see the growth happening before your very eyes soothes the soul. Gardening has helped me ground myself, which is something I’ve struggled with my whole life. My head tends to go up into the clouds, I travel through my highest chakras, and sometimes forget to come back down to earth. Gardening brings me back down to reality. It stabilizes me and balances my lower chakras – root and sacral.
One afternoon I wasn’t feeling well – headache and fatigue, mostly. So I decided to go and sit in my garden. I already knew of its healing powers, and so I was drawn to use them. I sat in my garden for a half an hour, no phone, no computer, no book. Just sat there and soaked up the garden’s energies. I listened to the birds above me. Felt the slight breeze on my face. Felt the earth’s energy pulse up through my barefeet. I watched as butterflies landed on my flowers and laid eggs on the passion vine. I was also greeted by a cheeky squirrel and chattering blue jay. The plants in my garden are a manifestation of the innate Mother Goddess energy inside of me. All of these realizations and observations served to re-energize me and soothe a pounding headache. When I returned indoors, I felt nearly one hundred percent better. This is the power of sacred gardens. It is said that being in nature not only relieves depression but also lowers blood pressure. I’ve felt the healing power of the garden firsthand, and I plan to grow my sacred garden for as long as there is soil, sun, water, and magick. I hope you consider growing a sacred garden too.