Creating Ghostly Gardens: Ghost-Like Plants For A Spooky Garden

Image by ScofieldZa

By Bonnie L. Grant

There is a natural link between the plant world and the world of spirits. Giving a nod to specters, both past and present, can tie this connection into our everyday lives when spooky garden ideas are implemented in the landscape. Creating ghostly gardens doesn’t have to be just a Halloween gag, but can be incorporated as a permanent part of the landscape, reminding us of our place in the cycle of life while also adding a fun, exciting note of the macabre.

Creating Ghostly Gardens

You don’t have to connect with your inner goth to enjoy the magic and mystery of ghost like plants and dark, spiritual spaces. Gothic garden plant varieties are abundant and when mixed with previously used items, religious icons or even just found relics, the effect can be both welcoming and eerily romantic. Learn how to create a ghost garden so you can enjoy the peace and reflection brought in by gently creepy items and darkly beautiful plants.

There are many ways to develop a spooky garden. Some of the elements might be rusty gates; distressed, old daily use items; historical markers; well-loved toys; statues; eerie lighting; weathered structures and any other item that evokes a sense of history and age. Add to these some slightly sinister plants and you have the makings of a magical, yet shadowy, grotto, where it is not difficult to conjure up some ghosts or monsters.

As you plan how to create a ghost garden, don’t forget to make the area meaningful to you and not just an abandoned Halloween display. Enduring items, such as rusty gates and stone monoliths, will stay through the seasons but accent your display of specially chosen fauna.

Gothic Garden Plant Varieties for Ghost Gardens

You don’t have to look too hard to find plants with supernatural charm. The obvious choices are plants that have dark, shadowed coloration, both in foliage and flower. Darkly toned plants to try might be:

  • Black Night hollyhock
  • Blue Lady or Midnight Ruffles hellebore
  • Black Mondo grass
  • Black Beauty elderberry
  • Belladonna (caution poisonous)
  • Black calla lily (reminiscent of grave sites)
  • Queen of the Night rose
  • Aeonium zwartkop
  • Black pansies and petunias
  • Black Coral elephant ear
  • Black Prince coleus
  • Eucomis Black Star
  • Obsidian huechera

Other options might be plants with sinister shaped leaves or rambunctious growth habits. Big plants, like Gunnera, offer the shaded gloom necessary for a spooky garden and their sheer size envelops the area and brings in notions of giants and monsters. The toothy leaves help, too.

Additional Spooky Garden Ideas

Location is an important component to the gothic garden. The natural choice is a dark, shady space in your landscape. Regional details can contribute to the feel of the space. These might be Spanish moss dripping from trees or lushly mossy rocks, both of which can carry a funereal or ethereal feel.

Local legends and stories incorporated into the garden add a historical element and may also bear a ghostly past to enhance the vaporous site. Touches like, ponds, waterfalls, and hardscape items, are permanent parts of the spooky garden and should be chosen with an eye to the whimsical and macabre.

Distressed sheds, fences in need of paint, rusty gates and religious statuary help along the notion of neglect and history. Don’t forget ambiance lighting to give the area the right feel at any time of day.

Listing your needs and drawing up a plan can help the design organically mature into your vision. A little tongue in cheek goes a long way to keeping the area from being scary, but developing into a place of peace and reflection instead.

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