According to my landlord, I have a patio. Unfortunately, I’m not sure that the concrete hallway between my and my neighbors’ doors could be divided up into “patios” by even the most generous eye. I still find myself jealously pinning bits of gardening inspiration, hoarding them like some kind of tiny, inexplicably horticulturally-inclined dragon.
(Here is where I’d include a picture of my patio, but it would basically just be a picture of my doormat.)
What I’d really love to do is have a witch’s garden. I’d love to be able to harvest my own ingredients, rather than having to either buy them dried or try to wildcraft them around here (which, ideas about urban foraging notwithstanding, is both not terribly safe and a pain).
On the metaphysical side, growing your own herbs gives you a different kind of connection to your work– something that it’s possible to miss out on when a garden full of home-grown herbs isn’t attainable.
On the practical side, you also get access to a veritable buttload of ingredients that are hard to find commercially. (Just try to buy a pound of rosemary flowers, I dare you.)
Even a small garden would suit me fine, if only to give me an outdoor space I could call my own. Ideally, I’d have space for mugwort, lavender, dandelions-on-purpose, garden sage, all-heal, hyssop, dog roses, sunflower, and horehound. I doubt I’d have space for trees, but that’s okay– lemon can grow indoors, and even bay laurel trees make good bonsai. A small garden and a sunny room would be more than fine.
I keep a little notebook on hand, full of running lists of ingredients for all of the experiments I want to try. It’d be nice to be able to brew some oil to use before bedtime– something to help bring on relaxation, vivid dreams, and restful sleep– that I could turn into a balm to keep in my purse for insomnia- or anxiety-related emergencies. I like the idea of making my own things, even if they aren’t really any different than the ones other makers have for sale. It just feels more nurturing to do it myself, you know?
Though my little patio with its lonely pot doesn’t exactly give the verdant yield I picture in my dreams, at least I still have my jars and dried herbs (and a pretty indulgent S.O.) to play around with. I’m going to research what herbs I have available in my area (it’s mostly just grass, but there are abundant wildflowers if you look in the right places. Maybe adder’s tongue? Yarrow? Witch’s hat waxcaps?) and see if swapping with people in other parts of the country might be possible… Even if I can’t grow or harvest much myself, it’d be pretty neat to be able to swap for ingredients rather than have to buy the bulk of what I use.