Tuesday, October 30, 2012

How to Design Your Very Own Halloween Garden

This just in, dear readers - ghastly gardens are all the rage this time of year!  I know what you're thinking: how can I design my very own spooky garden space?  Well, never fear!  Here are some tips to make your garden into a fabulously ominous space that no one will want to go into!

The first tip when designing a garden is to decide what the 'bones' of the garden are going to be.

photo source - Wikipedia
Er, uh, wrong type of bones (though a skeleton would make for some wonderfully dreadful garden art...) 

I was actually referring to the large, permanent plantings that give structure to the garden, such as trees and shrubs.  In your Halloween garden, you definitely want trees that give the most unwelcoming impression possible.


Chorisia speciosa (pictured above) is a delightful tree for your very own spooky retreat.  Trees that twist and gnarl are also acceptable - bonus points if the ones in your garden look like the evil trees from 'Wizard of Oz'!


For those of you in the Northeast that just lost a bunch of trees in the storm, you are in luck - nothing says 'Stay Away' better than a snarled bunch of downed trees littering up the yard!


In selecting shrubs for your creepy garden, think thorns.  Buckthorns, Roses (blood-red, of course!), Flowering Quince, and Ocotillo are but a few of the options available.

the fabulously razor-sharp thorns of Ocotillo
If those look too friendly for your taste, one can always use a nice, prickly cactus.  In fact, a whole yard full of cacti would be spectacularly spooky - and the neighborhood children's worse nightmare!


After you have found the most dreadful trees and shrubs possible, it is time to work on the next layer of your extra-special, gruesome garden - flowers.  I particularly like those that look like eyeballs.

 Actaea pachypoda,  Acmella oleracea
Other plants to keep an eye out for in nurseries or along the roadside include thorny or prickly weeds, carnivorous plants, and anything that looks remotely weird or foreboding.


When designing your one-of-a-kind, spooky garden, do not neglect the house.  One of the best ways to get a neglected, abandoned feel to your property is to plant a monstrous vine right next to the house.

Monster vine eating a building
You will know that you have succeeded if it is impossible to find the front door.  Up north, Boston ivy will easily grow into a monstrous vine.  For those of you who live in the Southeast, there is reason to rejoice - you can now get your Kudzu in either plain or variegated.

'Sherman's Revenge' Kudzu
- brought to you by Plant Delight's Nursery
Now, of course, if you really want a terrifying yard for Halloween, you could just drape everything with Poison Ivy..

I hope these tips have helped you in planning your very own ghastly garden space!  Have a happy Halloween, and enjoy watching all those kids try to get through your now fabulously menacing front yard to trick-or-treat!

20 comments:

  1. Hahahaha very ceative...I love this post!

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    1. Thanks! If anyone has a black, gothic mansion, I think this garden would fit the bill..

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  2. I could just stand in the middle of the lawn and have my picture taken. That could be pretty scary.

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    1. Ha, it can't be that bad (I hope)!

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  3. You really picked some prickly characters. I enjoyed your post, it is very entertaining. I remember the tree in the Wizard of Oz. Now he was a nasty fellow.

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    1. Thanks! I have an urge to watch that movie again now - it's been awhile!

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  4. Now those are some spooky ideas... Happy Halloween!

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    1. I hope you had a great Halloween as well!

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  5. Ha, cute! I love the vine devouring the building, but I think my favorite is the 'eyeballs'. I actually considered just posting the overall halloween-like decay in our garden this time of year, but the fowl won out again. Oh well, maybe next year ;)

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    1. I loved the fowl and the pumpkins, and I was quite impressed with the carving skills of those chickens! I love all your posts about the barnyard animals - so cute!

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  6. Oooohhhhh that's a scary post! I loved the trees, just look at the character. And those eyeball plants, gruesome. Just look at the ivy eating that building, oh my, how dark those apartments must be inside. Scary stuff!

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    1. I especially loved the ivy eating the building, myself. How in the world do they manage to get in and out, I wonder!

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  7. Ha ha, yes a scary garden would be something :-) I can add a plant to your list: Achantus spinosa, I have it in my garden, I like it but it's not for everyone I have heard...

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    1. Love it - those spiny leaves would fit right in! :)

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  8. This is not what I was expecting. Smokey Hollow-like trees represent spooky for me.

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    1. They are definitely great spooky trees!

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  9. What a fun post and I agree poison ivy would scare me!

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    1. When I was a fledgling gardener, I once ambitiously weeded the entire yard and got a terrible case of poison ivy (since I didn't really know what it looked like). Ever since, I am very scared of that particular plant!

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  10. Well, I'm a little late to your Halloween party, but I enjoyed it just the same. That vine covering the building is certainly a monster--I'd be too scare to live there! Poison ivy is the plant, though, that scares me the most.

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    1. As pretty as vines can look on buildings, I certainly don't want them covering up all the windows! And I agree about the poison ivy!

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