Fall, and especially Halloween, can be a season filled with décor and festivity. From trips to the pumpkin patch to the creation of costumes for kids, it is easy to see how finding time to decorate our homes and gardens can be overlooked. While spooky skeletons and witches are fairly commonplace, some of us opt for more traditional autumnal decorations consisting of pumpkins, hay, and other natural elements.
Regardless of your own preference, garden planning can help create impressive flower beds that are sure to add appeal throughout the fall Halloween season.
Planning a Halloween Garden Bed
When ordering seeds at the beginning of the growing season, few gardeners are thinking about fall – but you should be. Over the years, fall has become my favorite season. It signals the arrival of cooler weather and even the first frost. This unique set of circumstances can make planning the garden somewhat difficult for those unfamiliar with cold hardy flowers.
Planning a Halloween garden should begin in the summer. During this time, you can purchase seeds, plants, or even cuttings. Don’t worry if you missed that window. It may be fall now but small potted plants are readily available. Growing your own, however, can be much more cost effective. Times for starting seeds varies from one location to another, but it’s generally best in in midsummer.
Many cold hardy flowers are able to easily withstand light or brief exposure to frost on especially cold nights. That’s one of the reasons I love them! They are ideal for use as part of the fall garden display without worry of being damaged by those cooler temps.
Favorite Flowers for Halloween Garden Beds
There are all sorts of plants that can be used for Halloween inspired gardens. Many people choose those that are somewhat dark or scary. Not me. I prefer a more uplifting, autumn-like Halloween bed. In fact, here are my all-time favorites, though keep in mind that these grow well in my area, whereas they may not be appropriate for cooler regions.
- Sunflowers – Sunflowers are an essential part of the autumn garden. Ranging in size and color, planting sunflowers provides a great opportunity to introduce large and uniform bursts of color in the flower bed. During this time, dark red sunflowers are especially popular. Varieties include ‘ProCut Red,’ ‘Red Hedge,’ and ‘Autumn Beauty.’ Note: Sunflowers are not hardy to frost.
- Chrysanthemums – Chrysanthemums range in color as well. Small potted specimens can be used to add appeal to porches and patios. Taller types can be used as stunning focal flowers when pruned properly. Add an extra “creepy” element to the garden by growing spider-type chrysanthemum blooms.
- Pansies – Pansies are an ever popular choice in the fall and available in shades of bright orange and deep dark purple. Purple blooms are often referred to as “black” or nearly so. These varieties are often available in local garden centers during this time.
- Scabiosa – Traditionally grown from a spring planting, success in fall with scabiosa flowers has allowed me to add dramatic height to fall flower plantings. ‘Black Beauty’ is prized for its dark red color. Other varieties, such as ‘Starflower,’ are more favored for their uniquely decorative seed pods.
Not all Halloween inspired gardens need to be scary. With a little experimenting and planning, you can find cold hardy flowers to easily fit the season and its theme.