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Ideas for Growing a Goth Garden

Do you find dark plants intriguing? Could your garden use a little more mystery? A goth garden might be just your style. Check out these ideas for designing a goth garden and the enchanting elements one might include.

Contributors: Susan Martin

A quick search on Pinterest yields hundreds of ideas for growing a goth garden using dark colored plants and mystical accessories, with more pins being added daily as we get closer to Halloween. You can even join a Facebook Group on Goth Gardening. So, what is a goth garden exactly? It’s open to your own creative interpretation.

Traditionally, ancient gothic gardens—now referred to as “goth gardens” --focused on the theme of death and dying, an interesting concept for a place filled with living, breathing plants. People who love horror movies or scary films may find a goth garden that includes “spooky” elements like moss covered gravestones or plants that have a mysterious history are more to their liking. Others might interpret the goth theme simply as growing plants with mostly black, dark purple or bronze, or scarlet flowers and foliage.

If you garden with children, your approach to a goth garden might take a more magical or whimsical spin using things like gnomes or garden fairies discovered in surprising places along the garden path. Miniature gardens like this one from Garden Answer are perfect for such a theme. Halloween is the perfect time to pick up decorative skulls and other spooky accessories that can be used in creative ways in the goth garden all year long. The black plastic rats you see here were cut open and made into succulent planters to be used as Halloween decor.

Goth gardens tend to lack the formality of straight bed lines and paths, tightly clipped hedges and manicured plants. Instead, pathways with twists and turns or dark dead ends are more the style with plants encroaching over the path and blocking the view of what comes next. Plants are left to go to seed and decaying foliage is not swiftly removed. A crumbling statue missing its head might greet you around a corner. Goth gardens might be locked behind an iron gate where mystery lurks on the other side. Gargoyles on constant watch could be perched atop the gate posts.

Include a few unexpected, eerie elements in your goth garden that hint towards an untold story. Here, the root system of a dead tree was dug out, cleaned up, and suspended between tall, living trees above a pathway to make passersby wonder what might have happened there.

Aged stone covered with moss or vines and still reflecting pools have a place in goth gardens. When you enter this space in The Ruins at Chanticleer Garden, an odd sense of calm and wonder comes over you as you gaze into the obsidian pool. Voices become hushed and eyes widen to take in the enchanting elements of the space.


You might choose to explore the goth theme just on your patio or in a small vignette first, then expand if it’s to your liking or completely change it up the following year. There are all sorts of annuals, perennials, small shrubs, vegetables and herbs with dark foliage or flowers that can be grown in containers. Or you could specifically grow plants with spooky names like Sweet Caroline Bewitched After Midnight. You’ll find a whole list of ideas like that here. We’ll show you how to design a garden using black plants in this article.


If you want to get a goth theme going around Halloween but prefer brighter colors earlier in the season, simply swap in black or dark purple plants for the fall. For example, in this container, the Sweet Caroline Bewitched After Midnight sweet potato vine could be grown all season but the dark purple fountain grass could be swapped in place of yellow flowers that were used in that combination during the summer. You’ll find loads of ideas for dark plants you could use on this Pinterest board.

Look for goth themed or unique vintage pieces like lanterns, dragon statues or ghostly objects to accessorize your garden. These thrifted candlelit lanterns were suspended from a tree branch over a patio table to add mysterious ambiance to the space. Blood red Supertunia® Black Cherry® petunias and Sweet Caroline Bewitched After Midnight sweet potato vine fill an old brass bowl on the table.

Whatever path you choose to follow for your goth garden, remember that it’s all about self-expression and exploration. There is no right or wrong way, as long as you are happy with the results. Enjoy the creative process.



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