Making a Gothic Fairy-Tale Garden

June 1, 2021

I’m not going to lie, two years ago, if you’d told me I would be gardening for the fun of it, I would probably have just laughed at you. I didn’t have a big interest in gardening at all – I loved flowers, but I was fine with the occasional bouquet, I didn’t feel any need to have to grow them myself.

But then, on a whim, I bought a moonflower plant at a farmer’s market. And then, that same year, Josh got me a rose bush plant for our anniversary. So suddenly I had two plants! And they started growing! The rose bush got new blossoms! And then, miracles never cease, after two years, the moonflower plant actually BLOOMED inside!!

I’m told it’s very rare for them to bloom inside, but I had something like six blooms this Spring!!

Multiple times! I was overjoyed. And inspired.

So, this spring/summer, I decided I wanted to make a gothic fairy-tale garden outside. And, when just a bit ago the landlord cleared out a bunch of grass and weeds, making two perfect little gardening spots just outside my front door, I figured that was my sign to get started.

I went all over the place to get supplies – the farmers’ market in town, Walmart, Home Depot, and the Merrifield Garden Center, which was so beautiful I couldn’t believe I’d never heard of it before! Also, if you’ve been following me on various social media platforms online, you’ll know I found the perfect centerpiece to my garden there, a sibling cat/chimera gargoyle to the wonderful one I fell in love with at our dear friend Grace Nuth’s house many years ago!

Happy gotcha day, Oscar!

I didn’t really know what I was doing, hence the multiple trips. For example, I forgot I would need top soil and some kind of watering can, so that was what the visit to Walmart was for! It was hot, tiring, and oh my gosh, my arms were SO sore from digging the next day, and yet… somehow it was 100% worth it.

Here’s a quick video tour –

A tour!

So yes, of course the theme is gothic fairy tales, and of course I’m trying to make the stable loft Josh, kittens, and I live in into a “Sleeping Beauty”-esque tower… did you really expect anything else? :P.

For those wondering, the plants are: purple basil, purple balloon flowers, pink mandevilla (also known as Brazilian Jasmine), roses, Chinese peonies, and the one in the pot behind everything is another little moonflower I’m going to try to get to climb. Everything is 100% cat safe except for the moonflower, which is why I’m keeping it a bit to the side in a pot and outside the reach of my cat’s leash. The grass pot is cat grass, which Pye delights in.

He’s also a big fan of sitting under the roses, as you saw in the video!

The whole thing makes me smile every time I go outside. And you know what else? It’s really helped with the burnout feelings that Sara and I have been writing about lately. It’s a relatively inexpensive and quick way to get a little win, a way to bring a bit of beauty and magic into the world. It’s wildly satisfying.

Do you enjoy gardening? What are your favorite plants to grow?

P.S. You might have seen on Facebook, but I totally caved and joined TikTok… and I made a little artsy video of the garden there!


I’ve been working on creating a gothic fairy-tale garden… it’s slow but satisfying work 🖤 #gothicgarden #gothicfairytale #fairytale #fairygarden

♬ Song From A Secret Garden – Secret Garden
Mua ha ha!

Check it out here, and please do friend me on there if you’re a member? It’s way more fun than I anticipated, and I might be a little obsessed now :P.


  1. Gina

    Well now I want a Gothic Fairy Tale Garden! I’ve already been making over my patio into a hippie-dippie witchy patio… 🙂

  2. Claire

    Oh my goodness, I love this post (and the idea of a gothic fairy tale garden)! I’ve found gardening to be so healing and restorative lately, and your experience resonates with me so much. I’ve always loved flowers, but never had the opportunity to have my own garden until last year. It is SO satisfying, and it’s made me realize how independent and miraculous plants are.

    I think my theme is probably a bit more wild-cottage-overgrown-by-colorful-flowers than gothic, but then, I’m a sucker for colors. My little balcony is totally overrun, and my herbs and flowers in our complex’s communal garden are exploding at the moment. It makes me so happy!

    I would love to share a few photos or a video, though I’m not sure how to do that here. I’d also love to see photos of other people’s gardens, too! There’s so much life brimming over in each one, and it brings me so much joy! Thank you for sharing yours with us (and please write more posts like this one)!

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