Trick or Treat This Halloween
Trick or Treat – Unless you have been going around with your eyes closed for the past month, you will be aware that Halloween is almost upon us. The shops are full of the usual sweets and plastic skeletons, with mounds of pumpkins by the tills to encourage a trick or treat. It always makes me think of the wonderful visual treat of seeing how they celebrate the festival in the USA, particularly on the West Coast in the states of New England and Virginia where it seems every white picket fenced house has a cluster of gorgeous plump pumpkins by the front door.
Taking inspiration from these country style outdoor displays, I’m planning something different for Halloween this year. I shall leave the spooky tableaux to friends who do that better – and focus instead on a bit of Halloween chic.
The Halloween Garden To Trick Or Treat In
This last week in October is one of the final times in the year when your garden is truly on public display. It may be that you will be entertaining trick or treaters, or perhaps you are having a fancy dress party with apple bobbing and fright wigs. However you plan to enjoy Trick or Treat this Halloween, you ought to want your garden to look its best.
If all this sounds rather too much effort and not a little crazy, do consider that a heartening colourful display that you can admire from the comfort of your cosy home, is going to lift the spirits, even if you don’t leave the couch until spring has sprung. There’s a fair chance that you’ve got your outdoor furniture set in full view from inside the house – perhaps from the kitchen window or right outside the French windows. If you’ve opted for rattan outdoor furniture, there is no need to put it away for the winter, so you may as well make a virtue of its wonderful all year round properties.
I suggest you use the rattan garden furniture as the backdrop for a chic table display, transforming your patio area into something seasonal instead of leaving it as a forlorn reminder of balmy summer days. Most of our gardens need a bit of colour and drama at this time of year.
The key element of the display is going to be pumpkins – in all shapes and sizes. Try to get some of the more unusual Autumn squash which come in such varied colours. I like to use some Turks Turbans for their dumpy shape plus the strikingly marked Harlequin too. Don’t forget the traditional whopping orange one as your centre piece. The online grocer, Abel and Cole have just started selling a true selection box – the fabulously named Osh Bosh Squash box http://www.abelandcole.co.uk; “a brilliant box full of colourful, seasonal squash- as handsome on a windowsill as they are in a soup. Stuff them, chop them, osh and bosh them or leave them lying around your kitchen table looking cool. Expect a carnival of quirky characters like Onion, Kamo Kamo, Blue Ballet, Red Turban, Harlequin, Green Kabocha, Casperita, Table Gold and Gem.”
Arrange your pumpkins and squash on your garden table in an informal group. If you don’t cut into your pumpkins, they should be fine outside for a few days in this weather. Next, get a few clay pots in varying sizes and stick a garden candle in one or two of them. You can fix these in place with a bit of sand. There’s nothing to stop you carving a pumpkin too but remember if you are going to leave the display unattended, you would do best to use a battery operated tea-light.
Scatter around some suitable fairy lights – either solar-powered, or battery powered outdoor ones and intersperse with a couple of lanterns to finish. There are some lovely outdoor lights and lanterns available but do check out Cox and Cox’s range for some really lovely versions http://www.coxandcox.co.uk/outdoor-living#page=0&top=1& or browse the huge variety at Not on the Highstreet http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/garden/lights-lanterns.