A friend posted this picture on her Tumblr earlier and it -- along with a post I made about vegetable gardening on my other blog -- put me in mind of a project I want to undertake someday. A lot of you know that when it comes to gardening, I really feel like I get a lot more out of growing useful plants than I do plants that are simply decorative. This isn't to say that I don't love to look at or smell flowers, because I do. I just really enjoy that "something extra" I get out of harvesting vegetables I can then cook with or eat or herbs that have any number of useful purposes.
That said, I've always wanted to grow a witch's garden full of herbs and plants that have magical, medicinal or spiritual uses, as well as culinary ones. As is the case with growing your own food, growing your own plants for a specific use puts you in touch with what you're doing to a much greater degree than simply buying all your supplies at the store does. Plus, it's always really rewarding to watch your hard work and care bear very useful fruits.
I don't consider myself to be a master gardener (or even a good gardener, for that matter), but I do very much love caring for and nurturing living things. I usually haven't had too terribly much trouble getting things to grow successfully when I put my mind to it for that reason. I've never had a witch's garden, but I've always thought fondly of the idea and one of these years, I think I will be pursuing the idea very seriously in one way or another.
I also think that once I harvested and dried some of the herbs, it would be a cool project to handcraft and decorate a little "magic box" or two similar to the one above for storage and organizational purposes. I've always felt extremely comfortable with the idea of using a special box to house spiritual and divinatory items. I've had a wooden treasure chest for years where I keep my tarot cards and other divination tools. No one really goes inside the box but me or specific individuals that I don't mind sharing my spiritual life with. I feel as if it protects those things from the negative energy otherwise present in the world. It only seems fitting to treat consecrated plants with the same care and respect.
If you're pagan or grow herbs for any special purpose beyond culinary use, how do you prefer to store them? What plants do you grow and what do you use them for?