Saturday, 8 September 2012

The Gothic Garden, part 1

Of course, there are Goths that garden. Since many of us seem to enjoy turning any available space we have that belongs to us into something closer to our own personal aesthetic, this is not a huge surprise. From larger gardens decked out entirely in a Goth-fitting theme (complete, possibly, with faux tombstones) to a few, wholly appropriate, flowers in pots, the world of Goth gardening is full of innovation and variety.

Now, I am not the first Goth blogger to cover this topic, so I strongly suggest that you check out the following posts:

  • The Everyday Goth is herself a keen gardener, and provides plenty of inspiration for Gothlings seeking to re-vamp (heheh, that slays me) their outdoor spaces.
  • At her old (now defunct) blog, the Gothic Professor has some practical advice on what a spooky type should wear whilst working in the garden.
  • Offbeat Home features five beautiful black flowers.
  • The Gothic Tea Society has a lovely post on how to decorate your creepy garden.
Common themed gardens that Goths and other black-clad types often enjoy are cemetery-themed gardens (beautiful faded statues of angels; wrought ironwork; the ubiqitous gravestones and gargoyles), poison gardens (NOT adviseable if you have children or pets - please be very careful), herb gardens (useful for those who are into herbalism, natural remedies, cooking or spellwork), carnivorous gardens (Venus Fly Traps, et al) and night gardens.

An article on Suite 101 provides the following suggestions for night gardens: " There are many garden plants that allow for beautiful and fragrant nightly strolls for the Goth with a green thumb. There are several varieties of plants that bloom primarily at night including Moonflowers, Night Phlox, Angel’s Trumpet, August Lily and Vesper Iris. Other flowers, like Tuberrose and Night Gladiolus, bloom in the day but release their fragrance only in the evening. Other plants that might add some interest to night gardens are those with silver or white leaves or fruit. This might include varieties of wormwood, Silver Thyme, Alba Eggplant, Casper or Boo pumpkins, and Fraxinella or “gas plant.”"

Black flowers are also, of course, ever popular for Goth gardens. You can buy seeds for black flowers here. There are dozens of plants and flowers whose names alone make them more than appropriate for the Goth gardener. The Mourning Bride, for example; Deadly Nightshade (Belladonna), Love-Lies-Bleeding, Blood Lily... or you could just go all Tim Burton and start on your very own pumpkin patch. Think of all the delicious recipes you could make with those pumpkins!

The site Gothic Gardening long ago met its untimely demise, but it has been preserved by and you can read it here for plenty of information and inspiration. Top tips include how to increase the bat population in your garden, advice on creating a faerie-themed garden and which plants you should grow for a beautiful winter garden.

P.S. Several recent issues of Gothic Beauty have included a mini-series on Gothic gardening; and there is an entire section on the topic in Nancy Kilpatrick's The Goth Bible, if you would like to learn more.


SkeleDuck said...

App'y Talk has some great inspiration for gardeners, he has a wealth of church architecture and garden pics from sunny Yorkshire!

Alexandriaweb said...

I wish I didn't live on the fourth floor, I really want to have a herb garden and grow some of the herbs that aren't so comment now (like wild mint which is fluffy, Angelica, purple basil, borage and chervil)

linnea-maria said...

I just wrote a post about the balloon flower I growed this year. It has black stems and black patterned seed capsules and look very exotic.

PonPon said...

Alexandriaweb: Basil grows really well in sunny windows. Purple basil is a bit trickier to grow than sweet basil etc. But as long as it doesn't get too hot and you don't overwater it, it's really easy to grow. Purple/krishna tulsi is also very pretty and purple & it's uncommon in most of the world. (tulsi is very popular in India) As long as it gets sun it's super easy to grow. It also smells amazing and is very healthy for you.

xToxicTears said...

I want to move out of this hell hole to a place that has a garden so badly.;__;

We have a concrete square. Its about big enough for one person to stand in it. Depressing.</3

App'y said...

Thanks for the plug SkeleDuck. I do mix work and Goth life when I can.

Anonymous said...

Hello. I am from the US, and I wanted to address something I find to be a common factor that seems to be going on in the community, It has to do with addressing the whole "open Mindedness" of the Goth culture itself. I myself identify with the culture, and am gay. I have been getting recently from other fellow "Goths" very rude messages that are quite homophobic, and are just plain disrespectful. Normally I take things on the web with a small grain of salt, but I was reading on some other things, and there were a lot of people who said they were Goth who were very rude to each other because of minor differences. I understand there seems to be an elitism that strives along the club scene in the culture, but why all the rage? I ran into a post that was done by a non-goth who is a Satanist, who I deeply agree with. A lot of the "individuals" I have been coming across, especially on the web, were nice, until they found out my orientation. I understand there is a territory for sharing that information, but it seems like the open mindedness factor does not apply to this. The elitism in the culture from what I have experienced so far is so unreal. It is sorta like how kids at a playground will push people away from them, and hurt each other for no dictated or proper purpose. I understand that perhaps these may not be the "real" Goths, but I have also encountered both men and women who I would even say are "real" and they were just as bad. I am really uncertain as to what to think about it, but it seems like even nowadays, someone says "Goth" has no rules, and that we are free to do whatever that is darkly elegant. If this is the case, why is it then there is a spectrum that Tripp pants and Hot topic aren't even close to being part of it? A lot of what "real" Goths wear is similar, but with a logo like Lip Service, or X-tra-X. I personally like to wear whatever I please, I mostly try to DIY it, and am in love with music like Bauhaus and Siouxsie Sioux. I know that Goth has it's ACTUAL music, but it is one thing to be a fan, choose to live the way you do, and dress the way you do, but that being the case, does it give anybody the right to treat each other who each have different opinions in the worst of ways? I understand that there are those out there who intentionally make Goth look bad, but I am someone who tries to explain to many who ask, it is just music, and fashion. Lifestyle is total preference with the individual and some choose to be sad or mopey all the time. Me personally, I like to go to places like Parks, Forests, Clubs, or other public places, and I usually encounter Non-goths who have proven to be waaaayyyy nicer and respectful than a lot of "Goths". I am clarifying that I am not going to stop doing what I do, or disband from it, but I am just tired of having people I know telling me people of the same culture were rude to them, and I am tired of experiencing it myself. I know this is a long message, but it really is something I feel needs to be addressed about it. It could be the area I am in, or it could be just bad eggs, but I wish to hear from you and know what you think. I am definitely open minded when it comes to differences. I know a lot of cultural people, even ones who are personally against Goth as a whole, but even they say it is not their duty to be rude. We are people as well, and real equality is what I seek. Thank you for taking the time to read this large post, and Blessed Be!!

Laurie Brown said...

Don't forget that dark foliage really contributes to the gothic garden, and lasts all growing season as few flowers do. 'Summer Wine' ninebark, 'Black Beauty' elderberry, "Lady if Black' aster, 'Red Emperor' maple, and many others, look great all season.

One of these days I shall get around to making plant lists for the gothic gardening yahoo email list... life eats time.

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