Episode 243: Magical Plants and Flowers

This week’s episode, my guests are Chris Young and Susan Ottaviano. Chris and Susan are better known as the 2 Green Witches. Chris Young is a lifelong gardener whose acclaimed garden, Tiny Sur is a certified wildlife habitat and Susan is an artist, performer, songwriter, and food stylist. Their new book is The Green Witch’s Guide to Magical Plants & Flowers: Love Spells from Apples to Zinnias and together we take a light-hearted look at the power of plants to help you manifest your deepest desires. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Invasive Species

What We Talk About 

What is a grimoire?

What is green witchcraft?

The forward to the book is written by the iconic Debbie Harry. Is she a green witch?

Love spells

Do spells work? 

How the practices in the book help you to connect more deeply with your garden

The Indian paintbrush plant.

Queen Anne’s lace jelly

About Susan Ottaviano

Artist, performer, songwriter, and cooking maven Susan Ottaviano welcomes you into the lush and whimsical world of green witchcraft with her new book, The Green Witch’s Guide to Magical Plants & Flowers: Love Spells from Apples to Zinnias ( 6/6/23 Skyhorse Publishing).

With her rich illustrations and inspiring vegan recipes, Susan and co-author Chris Young shine light on brilliant ways to use products from the farmers market, supermarket, or even your backyard garden to bring light, love, good food, and good humor into your life.

Susan has been a groundbreaking food stylist and recipe developer for over twenty years. Her work has been featured in magazines, cookbooks, and advertisements from Bon Appétit to Grey Goose to Uber Eats.

Best known as the lead singer for pop band Book of Love, Susan and her bandmates recorded five albums for Warner Brothers Records/Sire Records. Book of Love was a fixture on the Billboard Dance Club charts throughout the 1980s and 1990s, with multiple hits in the top ten. The group reunited in 2016 for a sold-out world tour to mark their 30th Anniversary.

Her evocative artwork, which explores food, femininity, and sexuality, has been featured in numerous gallery shows, including a Spring 2023 group show titled “Eat It” at Collar Works Arts Organization.

She earned a BFA in Painting from The Philadelphia College of Art, and has been awarded post-graduate certificates from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park and the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She lives in New York’s East Village. 

Susan can be found on Instagram at @susanottavianoart

About Chris Young

Author, gardening expert, and former Comedy Central executive Chris Young first discovered his love of the outdoors growing up exploring the vast Indiana backyard of his late grandfather. Even while obtaining a degree from Indiana University and working as the Director of Talent at Comedy Central, Chris never lost his fascination with the power of nature.

In his new book, The Green Witch’s Guide to Magical Plants & Flowers, Love Spells from Apples to Zinnias (6/6/23 Skyhorse Publishing), Chris and co-author Susan Ottaviano share the surprising mystical properties of dozens of plants and flowers. 

Over the years, Chris honed his expertise working with green witches, gardening virtuosos, and botanical magic practitioners from New York City to rural Oregon. Eventually Chris settled down in California with his husband, television writer Jon Kinnally, where he re-committed himself to the botanical world.

Chris’ own garden, “Tiny Sur”, has been designated by the National Wildlife Federation as a certified Wildlife Habitat. It is also certified by The Xerces Society as a Pollinator Habitat, by Monarch Watch as a Monarch Waystation, and by the Humane Society as a Humane Backyard. On Facebook, Tiny Sur (@tinysuroflaurelcanyon) boasts thousands of loyal, engaged followers. 

Chris writes, gardens, and practices green witchcraft in Laurel Canyon, where he lives with husband Jon, cats Simon, Howard, and Elliott, and two Russian tortoises, Wentworth and Boris. 

Chris can be found on Instagram as @plantymcflowers.

About The Green Witch’s Guide to Magical Plants & Flowers

Chris Young and Susan Ottaviano, better known as the 2 Green Witches. Chris Young is a lifelong gardener whose acclaimed garden, Tiny Sur is a certified wildlife habitat. Susan is an artist, performer, songwriter, and food stylist.

Their new is The Green Witch’s Guide to Magical Plants & Flowers (6/6/23 Skyhorse Publishing).

Couldn’t we all use a little more magic in our lives? Equal parts practical guide and beautiful keepsake, The Green Witch’s Guide to Magical Plants & Flowers shows you how to bring more love and contentment into your life using elements of nature. This book, written by our favorite 2 Green Witches, unlocks the secrets hiding in your garden, transforming everyday flowers, fruits, and plants into bath salts, herbal infusions, soaps, sachets, tinctures, and more. It provides all-natural recipes that illuminate pathways to health, peace, love and prosperity, and harmony. The book deals with:

  • Love Potions: Learn how to attract your soulmate and cultivate your best self with these love rituals including jasmine bath salts, lavender candles, oils and more
  • Food for the Soul: How to use vegan recipes made with organic ingredients that ease stress in your relationship, boost your immunity, relieve a headache and even enhance your fertility. Susan can share recipes, including a meadowsweet and mint tea, lust parsley salad, orange cake, to candied violets.
  • Magical Mindfulness: Say goodbye to stress and hello to relaxation with these anxiety-reducing methods and recipes.
  • Plant Magic: How does your garden grow? Master magical gardening and growing with plant whisperer Chris Young. Learn about which plants offer protection, give you good luck and prosperity.


The Green Witch’s Guide to Magical Plants & Flowers – June 2023, Skyhorse Publishing 

The 2 Green Witches on Instagram

Other episodes if you liked this one:

Episode 67: Sensory Herbalism with Karen Lawton

Sensory Herbalism

Episode 221: The Wheel of the Year

The Wheel of the Year


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