How to Get Your Garden Ready for Halloween
Getting your garden ready for Halloween is probably one of the more fun outdoor chores of the year. You can hark back to your childhood and call upon the ghosts, ghouls, witches, and critters that make the spookiest day of the year so special.
You might think Halloween is a holiday stolen from the US and the multimillionaire candy companies. However, the tradition has its roots in the Celtic cultures of ancient Ireland and England called Samhain (pronounced Sow-Wan). It was a time when, in Celtic tradition, people tried hard to ward off the dead and bless the coming year. Priests would light huge bonfires, and people would burn crops and sacrifice animals. As part of the ritual, the Celts would wear frightening costumes to scare off the dead that might come out to play.
A Catholic Pope took advantage of the traditions and changed the meaning ever so slightly. All Hallows Eve (the day before the holy) is the day before All Saints Day. On this last day before the saints return all the spooky and naughty in the world got to play for just one more night! All Hallows Eve became shortened to Hallowe’en, and the rest is history.
Hallowe’en and your garden
The only other time of year you can let rip with the decorations in the garden is Christmas. So, if you are struggling to contain yourself until December, you can use the late October holiday to exorcise those decoration demons. There is no need to go crazy and spend your October salary cheque. Instead, take on board some of these affordable and wonderfully simple Hallowe’en garden ideas.
Time for Pumpkin Play
Before you get to feeling all guilty about the waste of food, pumpkins at Halloween are speed grown for carving. The pumpkins are produced so fast that they have very little taste and can have a woody texture. In short, you do not have to eat pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, roasted pumpkin and more for the next eight weeks until mince pies. You can buy these just for the decoration!
The thing is that Halloween would not be the same without the spooky pumpkins decorating your doorstep and pathway. If you set up a group of spookily carved lanterns in your window, you can put on a weird display. Better still, if you arrange your pumpkins on your backless garden bench, then it will look for all the world like they are floating in mid-air!
Get your kids involved – or not – your inner kid might be enough – and get creative. If you look online, you will some of the most amazing designs to try.
Go crazy with cobwebs
There is absolutely no need to crack a deal with the spiders in your garden – you can make decoration cobweb out of a cotton batten that you can buy in pound shops. With the amount of cobweb you would want to create your spooky appeal, it would take the scariest amount of super-large spiders to achieve. This might be a step too far or those of us with a touch of arachnophobia!
Mood Music that goes boooooo!
Search on your favourite streaming app and collect together some of the best horror movie soundtracks from years past. Point your Bluetooth speaker out through the window and blast out those booming tunes. Alternatively, get yourself some haunted house sound effects – you know – the odd scream and a few “whoooohooooooooos” and really give your neighbours the creeps.
Scarecrows scare more than crows!
There is nothing freakier than an evil scarecrow. It is probably only topped by an evil scarecrow in a clown’s outfit. Add some of your personal tweaks – a few scars, a frightening mask, maybe even a noose – and you have yourself a fairly horrific garden ornament. The bonus is that this may also warn away any child expecting you to give them sweets – more for you to eat!
Lighting decorations serve two purposes. The flickering of candles creates dancing shadows that appear like ghosts in the corner of scared people eyes. However, this also has the double benefit of lighting the way to your door and making your garden a little safer for young people. Don’t worry about the fire risk – get yourself some battery powered tea lights that mimic candles instead. If you put these inside paper bags with cut out shapes or jam jars covered in stencils, you can make some spooky effects!