A good English gardener always has something in her garden that can be used for decorating the house, inside or out. Halloween is no exception.
The vegetable garden is the first place to look. Gourds and pumpkins, both large and small, are a traditional way to start your Halloween decorating. Pumpkins, of course, can be hollowed out and used as a Jack-O-Lantern, but you could also place a pot of Chrysanthemums inside instead of a candle. Or place a vase inside the pumpkin and fill it with cut autumn flowers.
A fun way to add personality to your Jack-o-Lantern is to draw the face of your choice on it, then place a pot of Black Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘nigrescens’) inside the “head”. The grass will look surprisingly like real hair! You can plant the Mondo grass in your garden after Halloween. It’s hardy in U.S. Zones 6-10.
Gather pumpkins and gourds in a variety of sizes and mix with pots of Chrysanthemums and Asters for a colorful outdoor display. Cut some long stalks of hydrangeas and add them to the arrangement for lovely texture. As they dry, their colors will become muted, mimicking the decline of the autumn garden. For a more country look, place dried corn stalks in the back of your display for height, or add bunches of ornamental grasses tied together with raffia.
Yellow and orange are traditional Halloween colors, so you can, of course, cut any orange or yellow flowers still lingering in your garden, such as Helenium, Helianthus, Rudbeckia and annuals such as dahlias or sunflowers. Add some leaves of the black Mondo grass, or trailing ivy for a more interesting flower arrangement.
If you have shrubs with dark red leaves, such as flowering plum or barberries, add a few branches to your fall flower arrangements. You can also add branches that might have orange, yellow or red berries, such as pyracantha, bittersweet, or wild rose hips.
Dried slices of apples, pears, or oranges will add a rustic, country look to any arrangement. Or fill a pretty bowl with whole apples and pears mixed with dried hydrangea blossoms.
Bare tree branches or shrub branches also add textural interest to a fall flower arrangement, or they can fill a vase all by themselves for a bit of sculpture from the garden.
So, as All Hallows’ Eve approaches, take a stroll through your garden and let nature provide the inspiration for your Halloween decorating.