Andrea helps people design their homes and gardens. She likes to use Western Astrology and the Chinese Zodiac to help build templates.
Designing a Virgo Garden
A Virgo garden should be simplistic, meditative, and subdued. Virgo isn't into flashy colors and big floral designs; they would find that distracting and ostentatious. Virgo is one of the most independent signs. People born under this constellation are highly cerebral, known for embracing muted tones, and intense perfectionists.
The right garden for a Virgo is low maintenance, easy to understand, and monk-like. Out of all the garden designs based off Western Astrology, the Virgo one is the best suited for a zen garden.
Details to Keep in Mind When Planning a Virgo Garden
- Virgo is the last summer sign.
- Virgo is the mutable sign of earth. They're not as stubborn, fixated, or as romantic as Taurus. They're not hermit-like a Capricorn, nor as family-oriented.
- Earth tones are your best friend: rusted reds, muted yellows, sandy whites, and every brown imaginable.
- Indigenous plants are a plus. A Virgo garden should fit in naturally with the environment. Do not grow invasive plants or plants that don't match your environment. A tropical space should have tropical plants. A desert space should have desert plants.
- The garden should be inviting to pollinators including bees and birds.
- Succulents are a plus. Succulents are easy to maintain and come in the right color palette for a Virgo.
- Virgo is known as the sign of the harvest. Wheat and prairie grass are symbols of this sign.
Rely on Earth Feng Shui
The Virgo garden will get the right aesthetics by following principles in feng shui. Earth is the most important element to the Virgo, both in Western Astrology and in the Chinese Zodiac.
About the Earth Element
In feng shui, earth is considered the most malleable element. There are five elements in the Chinese Zodiac: earth, metal, water, wood, and fire. Earth has four animal signs dedicated to it; the other four elements each have two signs.
- Earth is considered a hybrid of yin and yang.
- Earth works well as a transition between seasons. The Chinese Zodiac has the following pattern: water, earth, wood, wood, earth, fire, fire, earth, metal, metal, earth, water.
- Earth's main shape is the square.
- The element is shown through flat spaces.
- A Virgo garden should be flat and embrace squares and hearts.
Earthenware is suggested for Virgo gardens. Add hanging pots, terra cotta, porcelain, brick, clay objects, and the like. Add pathways in these types of materials as well.
How to Avoid the Wood Element in a Garden
The wood element is considered destructive to earth. Avoid having lots of tall features like columns, trellises, and pergolas. Climbing vines don't really fit a Virgo space. You also don't want a lot of shade; Virgo is considered a summer sign.
Avoid plants and structures that look more appropriate for spring. Flowers that look nice in a Virgo garden have yellow, brown, and white petals. If you can add wheat or prairie grass, that is a major plus.
What You Should and Should Not Do to Emphasize Earth
The earth element includes: rich soil, beautiful sand boxes, rocky mulch, dirt, manure, and pebbles. You want to be vigilant about removing weeds. Plants should be trimmed and controlled. Make sure tree branches don't touch your house. Trim branches back if they're encroaching on your house. In feng shui, branches touching your house brings bad luck.
You don't want your garden to look like a lush rainforest. You want it to look more like a zen garden, a prairie, or a field. You should ultimately go with the natural landscape and not try to damage it.
- Your garden space should be as level as possible.
- You want a flat space where you can meditate, do yoga, get a tan, or read a book.
- Virgos do well with a large porch space where they can have many potted plants, vegetables, and the like.
- Add a space where you can play games, particularly ones based in logic like chess, mahjong, go, and dominoes.
- Add images of squares throughout your yard.
- Avoid colors like pink, purple, red, and orange.
- Set out a square table where people can gather to sit and drink coffee or tea.
Earth vs. Wood in Feng Shui
Squares, hearts, flat spaces
Columns, rectangles, polygons
Yellow and brown
Green, teal, blue
Rocks, soil, sand
Moss, weeds, grass, leaves
Yin and Yang
Ox, Dragon, Goat, and Dog
Tiger and Rabbit
Earthy, grassy, coffee
Clay, terra cotta, porcelain, brick, etc.
How to Create a Virgo-Friendly Zen Garden
The two signs in Western Astrology that I think would benefit the most out of having a zen garden are Virgo and Capricorn. A zen garden is a perfect match for a Virgo. The space is meant to help you unwind, come into clarity, and feel comfortable with your imagination.
Features and Characteristics of Zen Gardens
- Rocks and White Gravel: Zen gardens have two main features: rocks and white gravel. People are encouraged to arrange rocks to their liking. The gravel is meant to be raked to create designs.
- Placement: The zen garden is usually set up in the corner of a yard. It has contrasting materials from the rest of your yard. A winding path usually leads up to the zen garden. The space is separated by a fence or bamboo wall.
- Plants: Plants are kept to a minimum, and they're manicured. You don't want to add plants that sprawl out like crazy. You also don't want weeds or grass forming in your gravel. Plants that are recommended for this space include: bamboo, Japanese maples, azaleas, rhododendrons, and conifers.
- Accessories: Add pots, statues, and art. You want your zen garden to have muted colors. Stick to earth tones and very minimal pops of red.
- Fountain: Add a fountain for the sound of water. A zen garden's noise should contrast from urban sounds. Trickling water, waving grass, and rustling leaves are more attractive to the ears than honking cars. You don't want to overwhelm your zen garden with water features, but a couple of tasteful fountains or ponds can be transformative for your soul.
- Seating and Spaces: The zen garden should have seats that face the attractive parts of the space. You want a place where you can sit and think and enjoy simplicity. You also want a spot where you can stretch out your limbs to do some yoga poses or other exercise.
- Rock Arrangements: Rocks are arranged in abstract ways to represent something meaningful to the household. The rocks could represent mountains, people, beasts, famous landmarks. The gravel is often used to represent rivers, lakes, and oceans. Rocks can be grouped together or placed randomly to create a desired effect. Rocks that are randomly placed are considered discarded or nameless rocks.
Care and Maintenance Tips
It's important to regularly take care of your zen garden. Neglecting the space brings in bad luck or bad chi.
- Once a month, turn off fountains and wipe them down with a solution. Make sure the pumps are working correctly, and there isn't any damage.
- Check the pH level of your pond(s).
- Make sure you don't have fallen leaves in your gravel or ponds. Remove leaves regularly. Turn leaves into mulch.
- Rake the gravel regularly to help mitigate dust and to keep the energy in the gravel active.
- Check on any art pieces for wear and tear.
- Keep plants manicured.
A Space to Study
Virgo is considered the perfectionist, the logician, and the independent thinker. The garden should be setup to be a solitary space where the Virgo can learn. It's important to have thinking games outside. There should be tables for two, in case the Virgo wants to play a game with someone. Great games for Virgos include: chess, checkers, Blokus, Tetris, and anything to do with numbers.
It's also a good idea to setup a place where the Virgo can grab a book or other reading materials. You could setup a porch library, or have your garden area connect to an indoor library.
The Virgo should also have quick access to yoga mats, Tibetan bowls, meditation devices, and anything else that helps someone to relax. The Virgo while alone should practice their problem solving skills. They should follow this with meditation exercises to stop themselves from overthinking.
More Considerations for Your Garden Spaces
- Puzzles are great, especially if you have a screened in porch.
- A screened in porch is perfect for a Virgo.
- The Virgo needs a space where they can learn math, to play musical instruments, or languages. The garden should provide a relaxing place for this.
- The Virgo garden shouldn't have nonsensical or difficult pieces. They don't want to be bothered by weirdness.
- Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and word puzzles are great additions.
- A telescope boosts logic in a household.
- Your study space should have comfortable seating, a quietness to it, and not be hard to get to or far away from your house.
Look to Myths for Inspiration
Virgo's symbol is the maiden. The lore around Virgo is based off several myths, including one about Astraea. In Greek mythology, she was the last immortal to leave Earth at the end of the Silver Age, when the gods abandoned the world to go back to Olympus. Her element is related to earth since she stayed with the planet longer than everybody else. Virgo in any myth is associated with wheat.
Persephone and Hades
Virgo's lore is also heavily influenced by tales on Persephone. In Greek and Roman myths, the constellation Virgo is related to Demeter, the mother of Persephone and the goddess of the harvest.
Persephone, or Prosperpina, was kidnapped and taken to the underworld. She would spend six months out of the year there. She would come back to Earth for the other six months. She is considered a maiden of the fields and as part of a divine couple with Hades (or Pluto).
The Persephone and Hades story is meant to tell the story of the seasons. When the Sun is in Virgo, the seasons are beginning to change to the cooler months. Virgo is considered a transition, a midpoint in the yearly cycle.
In Egyptian mythology, when the Sun was in Virgo that marked the beginning of the harvest season.
In Christianity, Jesus was born to a virgin in the town of Bethlehem, which the town's name translates to bread (a wheat based food). The Virgo constellation is often discussed in relation to the Virgin Mary.
Reflecting Virgo's Mythology in Your Garden
Virgo is considered pure, quiet, and wise. Virgo-like-settings are rustic, charming, and farm like. A Virgo space may have hidden barns, sprawling corn mazes, or animal pastures.
A garden based off Virgo, or Persephone, could make for a perfect rustic location for a wedding. The venue could be a church or a barn in a field, a hotel in Kansas, or a charming English cottage in a meadow.
- Add statues of maidens working in fields.
- Add art related to wheat.
- Add statues of the Virgin Mary
- Add simple pieces that are humble, have muted colors, and don't draw too much attention.
- Add pots, bowls, and cups.
Vegetables to Plant
A Virgo vegetable garden should rely on muted colors. If you decide to add vegetables into your yard, go for ones that are in earth tones, especially in brown, white, and yellow.
Potatoes, parsnips, corn, garlic, cauliflower, onions, squash, and yellow pumpkins are all appropriate. You'll want to follow directions on seed packets carefully for these foods. You can't just plant pumpkins whenever you want.
Pick foods that are hardy, can be used in diverse ways, and can sponge up a lot of liquid. Virgo gardens are about staple crops.
Planting Tips for Recommended Vegetables
- Potatoes: plant four to six weeks before the last frost in spring. Potatoes need 75 to 135 days of cool, frost-free days to reach harvest. Potatoes don't grow well in extreme heat or dry soil.
- Parsnips: the veggies grow in cool weather. Sow seeds directly into the ground two to three weeks before the last frost in spring. Parsnips can also be planted in autumn.
- Corn: it's best planted in soil temperatures reaching 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Best to plant two to three weeks after the last frost of spring. Corn planted into too cold or wet of soil will struggle to germinate. Corn grows best from 60 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cauliflower: plant in spring. You want the flower heads to grow before summer's hot temperatures ramp up. There are some varieties that are suited for mid-summer planting and fall. One fall recommendation: plant green Romanesco.
- Onions: plant in either spring or fall. Plant onions when the weather is cool, not cold. A fall-planted crop of onions needs four to six weeks of warm temperatures, so it can establish in the ground.
- Squash: most summer squash need 50 to 65 days without frost to mature. Plant in the last week or two of spring. Winter squashes need 60 to 100 days frost free to mature. Sow winter squash seeds in late spring. Harvest before the first frost.
- Pumpkins: do not plant until the danger of frost has passed. Plant pumpkins for Halloween from late May to early July. If pumpkins are planted too early, they'll soften and rot before Halloween.
Flowers to Plant
The three main flower colors for a Virgo garden are white, yellow, and brown. Simple flowers are better than ornate ones that are difficult to grow. Here are ten of my favorites for Virgo gardens.
- Black-eyed Susans: plant in spring or early fall. These plants are simple. They just need enough time to establish roots before it gets extremely hot or extremely cold outside.
- Daffodils: they're hardy and easy to grow in most regions in North America. They don't do well with extreme heat nor wet swamp like places. Daffodils are yellow or white. Plant bulbs in the fall about two to four weeks before the ground freezes. Select a spot where the flowers will get plenty of sun. They need well-drained soil; they can rot when watered too much.
- Dahlia 'Honka White': an eight-petaled star-shaped white flower. It is delicate looking. Dahlias need six to eight hours of direct sunlight. They love the morning sunlight the best. Choose a location where they can be protected from the wind. They thrive in rich, well-drained soil.
- Wirral Supreme: the white Shasta daisies have glossy green leaves and white flowers. This will attract pollinators. The flowers need full sun or partial shade. They do well in moist but well-drained soil that's sandy, chalky, loamy, or clay.
- Lilies: plant in fall or early spring. If planting in fall, do so four weeks before the first frost. Plant in early spring when the ground is malleable but not muddy or oversaturated. Fall is considered the best time to plant. Plant the lilies six to eight inches deep. Add a layer of mulch to keep the bulbs cool.
- White Laceflower: the flower heads resemble umbellifers. They grow one foot in height. They're hardy annuals that flower from June to September. White laceflowers need full sun and well-drained soil that's sandy, chalky, or loamy.
- Roses: best planted in the spring after the last frost or in fall six weeks before your first frost. Plant early enough in fall, so the roots have enough time to establish before winter. Roses might annoy some Virgos because you have to work around thorns. Both bare root and potted rose bushes need to be planted about two feet deep. The hole needs to be large enough to handle the roots. Fill the hole with soil, add manure, and water the space abundantly. Mound up additional soil around the base.
- Tulips: plant bulbs in the fall six to eight weeks before a ground-freezing frost is expected. The bulbs need time in the ground. Planting too early leads to diseases. A good rule of thumb: plant when the average nighttime temperatures are in the 40-50 degree range. In colder northern climates, plant in September or October. In warmer climates, plant in December. Tulips like afternoon sun and a little bit of shade. All tulips dislike excessive moisture.
- Silene Alpestris: a delicate alpine perennial. It thrives at the front of borders. It will have white button-like flowers in the summer. The flowers need full sun or partial shade. They do best in well-drained soil that's sandy, chalky, or loamy.
- White September Flower: it is a filler flower made up of daisy heads on each stem. It comes from the aster family. It has a wildflower look.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Andrea Lawrence