💀 Garden

The use of the skull emoji is all over the place, and is typically included as figurative death – dying from laughing, dying from embarrassment etc etc but in this case we are talking about the Grateful Dead.

January 8th marked the 55th Anniversary of the first fan recording of a Grateful Dead Concert. Fans would go on to record more than 2000 shows over the years. The recordings were always encouraged, the band even going so far as to set up areas at the shows for the folks recording them.

Some of you may be 💀 over the Grateful Dead and some of you may feel otherwise (🤮 , 🙄 etc) but wherever you stand on their music or their lifestyle or your opinions of Deadheads (our own James Brown is a self-described Deadhead) you have to admit their record of 2300 shows over 30 years and a list of more than 200 albums is impressive.

With all of that content it shouldn’t come as a surprise that plants are featured in some of the songs, this inspired us to think of what our own Dead Garden would look like.

Lavender, Willow (and here), Roses (and here, and here and here and here) Wheat, Rosemary, Laurel, Pine, Sycamore, Begonia (of the scarlet type) and, of course, Magnolia (of the sugar type) all show up in Grateful Dead songs and would be featured in our Dead Garden. There are some others too:


In the instrumental Sage and Spirit, the reference is probably to a wise elder (sage) rather than a perennial – but if we are imagining our own Dead Garden we are including:

Russian Sage – Perovskia atriplicifolia (Did you know this has a new name? Salvia yangii)

Lyre-leaf Sage – Salvia lyrata

Meadow Sage – Salvia nemorosa

Wood Sage – Salvia x sylvestris


No China Cat in this list but still some stellar (solar?) options for your Dead garden.

Swamp Sunflower – Helianthus angustifolius

Ten Petaled Sunflower – Helianthus decapetalus

Woodland Sunflower – Helianthus divaricatus

Small Woodland Sunflower – Helianthus microcephalus

Eastern Sunflower – Helianthus occidentalis ssp. dowelianus

Ox-eye SunflowerHeliopsis helianthoides


Spider Lily (Tradescantia virginania) is probably not the lily of the song, and sure you could include daylilies, or Asiatic lilies in your Dead Garden but why not a spider lily? Actually, Spider lilies do tend to spread fairly aggressively, so there’s chance (maybe? 🤷‍♀️ ) that the fields being skipped through may have been Spider Lilies 😉


Purple Prairie Clover (Dalea purpurea) may just sparkle in the sunshine.


Good news! Any wildflower can be included in your Dead Garden!


More good news! Any garden can be a Dead Garden.

Besides the obvious, what did we miss for our Dead Garden?


One comment

  1. You might not sell them, but … Sugar Magnolia is an obvious one even to this non-Deadhead 😊

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