Halloween is one of my favorite times of year. I love the nostalgia of it and dressing in a costume. Halloween provides the perfect excuse to eat a handful of sugary candy I don’t otherwise eat. My silver service on the sideboard looks appropriately dark and moody in its currently tarnished state. Even the yard gets in on the spirit of the season, which brings me to the Halloween garden. Maybe it’s simply my perspective come October, but flowers and plants take on a heavy, sleepy, Halloween-ish air to me. And it all happens naturally. Without the gardener doing anything.
Other than noticing.
I snapped a few pictures to show you the raw beauty of the Halloween garden.
Seeds practically jump from dried coneflower pod to soil. Birds like to perch and get their fill so everyone is content.
Milkweed in Fall
During October, milkweed pods begin to split open. The wind sends seeds sailing on ghostly fluff. These seeds, scattered by Mother Nature, have a better chance of germinating than those we plant in spring. It’s like they sense winter and are able to time their growth perfectly.
What happens if you leave daylilies in the garden to dry all summer and into fall? They morph into exquisite skeletons.
By October, the showy pink flowers of this gigantic oakleaf hydrangea have dried to nut brown. The stems would make a fabulous fall indoor arrangement, but since this particular hydrangea grows at the Headquarters House, I’ll resist cutting a few.
Purple Sweet Potato Vine
Purple sweet potato vine, so dark the leaves are nearly black, is a perfectly sullen and broody Halloween window box plant. Don’t you think? (Also, Headquarters House.)
Blood Red Cockscomb
Rich cockscomb adds a flash of color and beauty in the fall garden. Think vampires in black tuxedos with velvet fuchsia pocket squares.
As leaves turn brittle and drift to the ground, gnarly branches reach out and appear to grab passersby. This is the time of year for wise old trees in the Halloween garden. The more warty and imperfect the better.
Beans are symbolic of magic and power, a nod to Jack and the Beanstalk. Harvest. A spiritual resurrection and growth. My brilliant purple hyacinth beans represent lush vines and blooms next spring. How can they not be otherworldly at Halloween?
What’s growing (or fading) in your Halloween garden?
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
Go To Sleep You Little Baby – Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, Alison Krauss