I’ve been thinking about this topic for a while because I love planting things and I love the concept of planting things specifically for a particular deity, goddess, or just all of them. Creating a welcoming environment for your favorite goddess(es) through the use of nature seems exceptionally appreciative and grateful, IMO.
And, most deities have specific plants they are connected to in some way, or specific colors they resonate with best, so its pretty simple to put together some basic garden plans based on one or more goddesses (and yes, technically you could do this for a god or a deity that is not gender specific).
Indoor or Outdoor?
Before even selecting plants, determine where this garden is going to exist. If you do not have the ability to plant something outdoors, but you do have some space inside, even if you think its small, it still counts, and, while I can’t speak for a particular goddess, most seem to be receptive and appreciative of humans planting things in their honor, especially if you show that some thought has gone into its design and selection.
The biggest thing with indoor vs outdoor is the lighting. If you have the ability to set up sunlamps on your plants all day, then I wouldn’t worry about the question of full sun vs partial sun vs partial shade vs full shade (and yes, technically partial sun and partial shade are not the same thing).
Usually, if you’re indoors, a south-facing window will get what’s considered full sun in most locales, but other things might affect that, like outdoor trees blocking the rays to your window, or tall buildings obscuring sunlight from that spot, so you’ll need to determine this by watching that spot or even taking pics of it throughout the course of a day to see how much light actually filters in through your chosen location.
Make note of how many hours of sunlight your chosen spot gets. Here are some basic guides for hours of sunlight:
- Full sun is 6+ hours of light, but might be more like 8-10 if you’re growing veggies
- Partial sun is 4-6 hours of light
- Partial shade is at least 2, but usually not more than 4 hours of direct light
- Full shade is 2 or less hours of direct light per day
Your chosen space, depending on how big it is, might even have zones where parts of it are full shade and others are part sun. I have a spot in my backyard where I’m planning my goddess garden and I took pics of it every 30-60 min during a day to determine which parts fall into which category, so I could more effectively choose plants.
Make note of that.
Which Plants Should You Choose?
Here’s the fun part! Regardless of whether indoor or outdoor, you want to first look for plants associated with your chosen goddess(es) and make a list. It can be as long or short as you want. Don’t forget to include a wide variety, not just flowering plants. Think herbs, shrubs/small trees, medicinal roots, and so forth.
Once you have your list of associated plants, dig into what color spectrum your chosen goddess(es) resonates most with. Which of the plants on your goddess-specific list also fulfill color correspondences? Make a note of those as 1st choice plants.
Are there other plants that were not on your original list that do match the color correspondence of your goddess(es)? Consider including those, as long as you can’t find any reason why that goddess(es) would not like that plant.
Cross off any plants that just aren’t going to work with the given light situation. Trust me, if you don’t have full sun, don’t try to grow a full sun plant in partial shade. You’ll get frustrated and it won’t thrive.
Also, do some simple googling to find out if a plant you’ve selected can be grown indoors/outdoors. Some plants even if they get full sun inside are really meant to be outdoor plants and may be very care intensive or difficult to grow indoors, and vice versa. If you’re a skilled horticulturist and have access to a greenhouse and stuff like that, go for it, though!
Now, you should have a narrowed down list of plants that match the lighting conditions and the location, as well as the goddess(es) plant and color associations.
In my backyard garden, I made a list of these plants that I wanted to grow in a garden I plan to dedicate to multiple goddesses, but its primarily designed for Freya and Hekate, as those were the two I was most heavily working with at the time:
- black columbine
- garlic (flowering)
- orange columbine
- lemon balm
- scarlet pimpernel
Scribble on a piece of paper the rough shape of the space you’ve got and anything else in the space structurally that’s part of it. This is sort of like your floor plan (or ground plan).
On your floor plan, make note of the spots that have different lighting conditions, if they do.
Indicate how big in feet or inches the space is, and roughly scribble in bubbles or shapes of where the desired plants will go.
This can be as simple as a couple of pots on your windowsill to a complex landscaped plot on your land. Don’t overthink it, put it down how it speaks to you. You can always change it if needed.
Below is what my scribbled out plan looks like:
Now, if you’re working this goddess garden into a space you plan to spend time, you can also consider things like seating and access. I plan to eventually put some nice cushioned outdoor chairs into mine where I can sit and read, enjoying fresh air.
One other thing to have on your mind at this point is pets. If indoors or outdoors, be cognizant of whether your chosen plants are toxic to dogs or cats. Just because they are doesn’t mean you can’t have them, but if you have a pet that will definitely sample your plants, then its best to leave it out. Neither of my dogs have any interest in eating or tasting my indoor plants, so I don’t worry about it there.
Also, if outdoors, will your plants be left undisturbed enough to grow. I have two dogs, one of which is fairly destructive just because he’s big and loves to run around, trampling whatever happens to get in his way, so some pretty fencing around my goddess garden is going to be a requirement for me.
You may also have pests like rabbits or other rodents that will dig up any bulbs or roots you plant, so consider some animal-safe deterrents for pests.
Okay, so this post isn’t going to go into detail about starting from seeds vs already sprouted or grown plants. You can decide what works best for you and your space, as well as your experience and comfort level with plants and gardening.
But the key is, follow through on your design and then follow through on the upkeep. Plants need to be cared for just like any other living being, and, if you’re like me, you may find they really do have personalities and characters that you’ll start to become familiar with (I promise talking to your plants isn’t as weird as it sounds).
I look at a goddess garden like this: if you are dedicating a space to a deity or spirit, care for it as if they actually live there all the time, and keep it neat, beautiful, inviting, and above all else, loved. If you can realistically only do this for a couple of plants right now, that’s completely fine!
One more thing. If you’re going the indoor route, I cannot recommend enough the app Planta (looks like its only available on iOS right now). This was a game changer for me to remember when to water my indoor plants. A year ago, I had like dozens of plant deaths under my belt for the simple reason that I would just forget or it wasn’t a priority.
I now have dozens of happy thriving plant citizens in my home, and I give almost all the credit to this app (some credit needs to go to one of my ancestors who was a legit world-renowned botanist who I have been working with and welcoming into my home).
Planta is geared for already established plants, so if you’re growing from seed, you’ll need to wait til they start to germinate a bit, but after that, enter each plant you have, pics of it, and the app will give you tons of detail, watering schedule, etc.
It also even adjusts watering frequency by time of year and the available light conditions where your plant is, as those will affect if your plant needs more or less water.
I use the free version which is really all you need for watering schedule, but if you’re someone who wants all the extra info like reminders of when to fertilize and when to repot, etc, there is a version you can pay for monthly.
They do also have settings for outdoor and indoor/outdoor, which I think are also part of the premium paid version.