This week, I.thought it would be fun to go around my garden to see what I have that would be in a magical garden (Harry Potter style, that is). Why am I doing this? I’m a big fan, and Pottermore just opened up the second book, Chamber of Secrets, for members to explore. I am having fun looking around. (No, I am not in any way associated with Pottermore. I am just a Fan.)
For those of you who don’t know about it, you get sorted into a House, just like in the books. I’m in Hufflepuff, where else would a gardener be? Then a wand chooses you. Mine is Hornbeam, or Ironwood which is very hard. Then you get a chance to go through the school year and interact with others making potions and dueling to compete for House points. I suppose I never grew up enough not to enjoy this kind of thing.
Now, looking around my garden, and my neighborhood, I have come across a number of real plants that feature in the Harry Potter world, mostly herbs. So I’ll take you around the garden to see some them.
Other than as stated, these plants are used in making potions in the books or on Pottermore. They likely have other notations, that I didn’t have time to track down. Some of these plants also have traditional medicinal uses or feature in magical lore. I thought it would be fun to share that as well.
(Disclaimer: My sources for herbal and magical information comes from the internet and is not at all complete and maybe not completely accurate. If anyone has more information, why not share it in the comments. Also, Do NOT Try These On Your Own. Some may be toxic.)
First of all, is the elderberry or elder tree. Medicinally, elderberry has been used lozenges, syrups and colds or flu and is an anti-oxidant. It also is used to make jams and wines. In magical traditions this tree has properties to drive away evil spirits, as a protection from attack, and to enhance dreams. In the story, this is the wood of the wand owned by Dumbledore and sought by the evil Voldemort to ensure his mastery over death when reunited with the other two Hallows.
The wood from the Hornbeam (or Ironwood) tree is the wood for my wand on Pottermore. This is a very hard wood, hence the name. There is a street sign down the block from me with the name Ironwood – I couldn’t find any Hornbeam trees, though. One source relates them to hazel trees, which abound in our area. Medicinally, Hornbeam has been used externally for compresses and to heal wounds. It has also been used in dying cloth. In magical lore it is used for luck and good spells. Also, in Potterverse Wand Lore, such a wand would easily adapt to the owner and would be hard for someone else to use. It would also take on his sense of honor and ethics. I like that.
Any number of herbs are used in brewing potions on Pottermore. Of course, I don’t have any of the fantastical ones, those are hidden in the Wizarding World, but i do have quite a few of the ordinary ones found in non-magical places. The ones I found in my own garden that can be found in the Harry Potter world, you can see below.
Flower Head. This rose represents the flower head found in Pottermore potions making. The Rose Thorns are also used in potion making. I have lots of roses in my garden. Of course they are sweet smelling and I love mine. I plan on making rose hip jam this fall. In addition to being edible, roses are used in perfumes. Herbally, rose hips are very high in Vitamin C so are a remedy for colds, for stomach ailments, and for digestive ailments. Magically, roses have been used for love potions, prophetic dreams, divination, and protection.
Lavender is such a wonderful herb. It is sweet smelling and edible. Medicinally it is used for stress and pain relief, and has been studied for anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Magically, it has been used again for calming effects but also sleep divination, attracting money and love.
Lemon Balm is an herb I would like more if it weren’t so invasive. It is wonderful in making tea, which has a nice calming effect, also used the leaves in salads. It can also be used to flavor vinegars. Magically, it has been used soaked in wine to insure success and is considered a healing herb.
Yew. I don’t think this is really a yew, but it sorta looks like one, and it was what I could find walking around my neighborhood. Of course they are Poisonous in the real world, but they do have some herbal uses and are being studied for the chemo-therapeutic treatment of cancers and to stimulate the immune system. ***This should NEVER be used without a physicians supervision. And Magically, yew has been associated with death and rebirth, visions. (Is that any wonder, given it is toxic.)
Black Beetles. Of course, these are our wonderful ground beetles, destroyers of slugs and other things we don’t want in the garden. I don’t know of any Medicinal uses (maybe in Chinese medicine) or Magical uses other than in the HP storyline.
These are not really Leaping Toadstools, in fact, they are Mushrooms on my kitchen counter. I went looking for toadstools in my neighborhood and found none. This was after I had seen a lovely fairy ring last week and a nice fat mushroom in my garden that I had kicked over only days before. The mushrooms we buy are edible. The ones you find in the woods…..you had better know your mushrooms as many are Poisonous. There are Magical traditions where the Fairy Ring being a magical place to see the fairies, or others associating them with long life and strength.
These are about all the plants I can find in my garden that would also be in A Magical Garden. I am sure there are a few more. At any rate, I have had fun tracking down this information and Am having fun playing around on Pottermore and finding the new stuff that is now there. Time for a re-read of the books as well.
(Disclaimer: I am not in any way associated with Harry Potter, PotteIrmore (other than as a member), J.K. Rowling or Sony. And I don’t earn any money, other than if you follow an affiliate link to Amazon or click on Adsense. I’m just a girl having some fun exploring.)