Chocolate and candy, costumes, chills, scary stories, and goosebumps! The haunting season is upon us! Is your garden up to the challenge of this time of year?
From witch's brews, potions, and alchemy - the source of most superstition and the supernatural have come from plants and nature! As spine-chilling and scary as you can stand, here are some ideas to keep it spooky year-round!
Gardeners already have the neighbors on high alert - We’re out there digging holes in the yard at odd times of the day (to beat the heat of course!), burying things in the ground suspiciously, always mixing up some concoction (Ahhh, fish fertilizer - just like Maleficent would make!) that magically makes our garden grow, or obsessing over our heap of rotting matter in the back yard (compost!).
We’re always welcoming a garden spider or orb weaver as they make webs and catch the bad bugs for us. Have binoculars to look at the (bird or butterfly in the shrubs) in the neighbor's yard or play with bugs. Making Scarecrows that chase away the pests. Collecting scary-looking implements of weed destruction everywhere, making our sheds look like slasher movie scenes!
Plus we get covered in mud and look like ten shades of fright after several hours of tangling around in the garden with the weeds. We’re sure the neighbors are shaking their heads as we happily tottle about the yard lopping heads off (deadheading) all while talking to our plants, hollering at the squirrels, and sharing secrets with the bees.
When you think about it…gardeners are an odd bunch indeed!
In honor of one of our favorite times of the year, here are some spooky and creepy garden ideas for getting your creep on all year!
Trick-or-Treat! Want that Halloween spirit all growing season? Try these spooky-sounding plants for your garden! Add some name tags in the shape of little tombstones for a bit of fun! You don’t need poisonous plants like Hemlock, Mandrake root and Monkshood (Wolfsbane), White Baneberry/Doll’s Eyes, and Witches Bells (Foxglove), to make your garden Halloween-ready!
Combine with a ‘Choke’berry bush, and a ‘Hack’berry tree for a B-movie-ready garden. Add some Skullcap, Toad Lily, and a Black Adder Phormium for a creepy crawly landscape that’s just delightful! Add some pumpkins and you have a great garden that will keep the neighbors guessing more than they already might be.
“For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble. Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble...”
From the sound of that, you wouldn’t want to eat dinner over at a witch's house! But those creepy-sounding 'ingredients' had real-world meanings because of something known as 'linguistic drift'. Holly leaves became ‘bats wings’ and ‘crows foot’ were wild Geraniums, because of how the leaves looked!
Eye of Newt was code for Mustard seeds, Buttercup leaves may have been frogs toes. A hound's tooth or lizard's leg were named so because of the plant leaves or plant parts they resembled! Paws, feet, legs, wings, or toes could mean the leaves of a plant. Tails and guts might have been the roots or stems, and eyes were in the inner parts of a flower. Tongues could be petals, and hearts were a bud or seeds. Plants have loads of similarities when compared to something people can relate to and make them easier to remember, pass down and maybe even write in secret code so no one could steal their recipes!
Eye of … Cat's Eye Iris, Bulls Eye Tulip, or Dark Eyes Verbascum
Blood of … Bleeding Hearts or Bloody Cranesbill
Wings of … Night Flyer Lily or Red Wings Creeping Phlox
Leg of … Dog Hobble or Spider Lily
Lips of a … Hot Lips Turtlehead or Hot Lips Salvia
Tail of … Chameleon Little Bluestem, Red Bunny Tails Fountain Grass, or Foxtail Fern
Tongue of … Beardtongue (Penstemon)
Hair of … Tufted Hairgrass or Goat's Beard and Bearded Iris
Ears of … Elephant Ears, Blue Mouse Ears Hosta or Lambs Ear
Warts of … Warty Barberry or Spiderwort
Toe and Lungs of … Twinkle Toes Lungwort
A witchy garden can be medicinal or fun! There are already edible Nightshade family members like tomatoes, potatoes and eggplants, and of course, plenty of herbs. Plant a Witch Hazel Tree and you’ll have a very pretty garden with some sneaky hidden meaning to slide under the neighbor's radar!
The count himself might enjoy strolling around in this garden! In addition to planting a moon garden with night-blooming plants for nocturnal beings to enjoy once the sun has gone down, a curious corner of the landscape with these plants will certainly be cause for conversation!
Garden of the night…in the day! These near-black blooming and dark foliage plants will add dramatic color that sets every other color off in your garden! Use them together or as an intense backdrop and accent for more brightly-colored plants!
“The Difference Between a Garden and a Graveyard is What You Put in the Ground!”
- Rudy Franisco
Get your cauldron and broomstick ready! Add glow-in-the-dark anything, big eyeballs tucked into shrubs, drape cheesecloth with eye holes cut out over your dead perennials or dormant shrubs, and fill the wheelbarrow with some dirt and a skeleton (fake preferably). Don’t forget the Rosemary by your garden gate, and keep the neighbors on their toes!
For a garden that embodies one of our favorite holidays all year long, look no further than Nature Hills to help you enjoy your landscape to its spookiest!
Happy Spooky Planting!