Friday, October 12, 2018

Gearing up for Halloween

I usually wait until 2 or 3 days before Halloween to decorate, which is odd as my favorite part of this particular holiday is the decorations.  Since I also feel compelled to take down my decorations as soon as the holiday is over, I decided to get started earlier this year.  They're all pretty low-key in any case.

I picked up the warty knucklehead pumpkin at the market but its vine-like arms a legs came from one of my favorite garden centers.  It's sitting on the stone structure that forms one wall of my small dining room.


I bought the 4 white mini-pumpkins at the market as well with the intention of decorating all of them but I found the small gourds harder to work with than the large pumpkins I've previously adorned with succulents - or I simply had less patience, either one or both could be true.  I gave up after decorating 2.

I glued succulent cuttings (Aeonium haworthii, Graptopetalum pentandrum, Kalanchoe orgyalis and Portulacaria afra) and berries from Auranticarpa rhombifolium atop a mass of dried sphagnum moss, glued in place using a spray adhesive


With one exception, the rest of my Halloween decorations are retreads from prior years.

The skeleton hangs from a chandelier
 
My cat and rat skeletons decorate the area outside the front door, accompanied this year by a large toad


The indoor decorations may migrate outdoors on Halloween night but for now the pumpkins will remain inside.  My experience in prior years has taught me a lesson about what happens when you put pumpkins outside.

In 2015, when the squirrels quickly tunneled through my pumpkin as they usually do, this one was at least kind enough to pose for a photo


Do you decorate for Halloween?


All material © 2012-2018 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

32 comments:

  1. Kris, I love all the Halloween things, the toad is specially cute! it is not celebrated here so I enjoy seeing these pictures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The toad is new this year. I couldn't pass him up and, unlike the other Halloween decorations, he may be allowed to remain out for much of the year if I can find a suitable spot to tuck him.

      Delete
  2. I love your warty showoff Humpty Pumpkin, sitting on his wall saying "Ta-dah!"

    The little white pumpkins with succulents are sweet -- all the sweeter for how labor-intensive they proved to be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The pumpkin/gourd decorating exercise was fun the first couple of times but I think I may be over that trend, Nell. Adding arms and legs to "Humpty" was a lot simpler!

      Delete
  3. I think only decorating two of the white pumpkins was perfect, no need to do all four. As you know, I do decorate a bit for the holiday, mainly with vintage paper decorations Andrew and I have collected, ones that remind us of our childhood. My main decor this time of year though are the autumn guards, dried bits, and such that can take us right through to Thanksgiving.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd thought of giving the decorated mini-pumpkins to friends I meet regularly for lunch, which is why I bought 4. If I get the time to give it another go, I may still do that, otherwise I guess I'll keep them into Thanksgiving.

      Delete
  4. Oh, the photo of the squirrel in the pumpkin, Kris. I know he’s very naughty but that is a perfect shot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The squirrels tunnel through pumpkins every year I put them out, Jane, but only that one squirrel had the cheek to pose for a photo!

      Delete
  5. Hopefully the newspaper coyote doesn't walk off with anything! Where is he when the raccoons are rampaging?

    Your decorations are charming. The pumpkin with the root limbs is great.

    I have a Radko pumpkin and witch that sometimes manage to make an appearance every few years. Used to grow pumpkins every year, but always more than we would ever eat. One year when my nephew was little and they visited, I decorated his room a bit. He was totally thrilled.

    We got some rain!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now that's worth celebrating, yes? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never thought about the coyote running off with the skeleton cat or rats but then he does seem to have a thing for plastic! The video of that might be worth it.

      Yes, we got rain!!! By the time it stopped mid-morning, we'd accumulated over half an inch. That's a major storm by current standards. Last night's lightning show was something too!

      Delete
  6. Love the vine-like arms and legs on your first pumpkin and the cute little ones with succulents. Your house definitely looks ready for the holiday! Do you get trick or treaters? (Other than the squirrels knocking at your pumpkins and the damned raccoons destroying everything else.) I put out a few things for the season but since I'm lazy they're more about autumn so that they can stay up through Thanksgiving. There are a few Halloween-specific bits and pieces around though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We get very few trick-or-treaters here, Peter. I doubt there've been 10 over the 7 Halloweens we've had in this location. There were none at all last year and most of those in prior years have been teens who haven't even bothered with costumes. I miss the little ones but the neighborhood is gradually changing so maybe this year will be different.

      Delete
  7. Kris, I haven't been in the US for Halloween since 1992, so I really enjoyed seeing your decorations. Things have really changed! The animal skeletons are super-cool, and those arms and legs are scary! I'd definitely pick some up if they had them here. Unfortunately, my decorating here is limited to a Jack-o-lantern… if I can find a pumpkin large enough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Halloween has become HUGE here in recent years, Lady. Unfortunately, it's such a commercial success that retailers put out decorations for sale in early August now, which is a bit much. But the range and creativity of what's available is incredible.

      Delete
  8. I'm afraid Halloween decorating days are a thing of my past but I have to say yours are really some of the best I have seen and very tasteful-even the skeletons look like they might have come from a biology museum. I might make some effort if we had children visiting but we don't even get one caller as there are just 3 of us old couples on the gated street. It was fun to see yours and I am sure I will enjoy other's postings Instagram.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The skeletons available on-line and in stores are wonderful, Jenny. There's a human skeleton wearing a top hat and holding a leash attached to a dog skeleton that I've found very tempting but then how many skeletons does one really need to celebrate? As it is, the cat is a bit much - he has a motion-activated chip that sets him howling, which I've turned off at my husband's request.

      Delete
  9. Love all your decorations, Kris, even the creepy cat and rat skeletons. :)
    We don't get any visitors here, so I don't usually decorate. My sister gave me some window clings, so I put those up. I might get a pumpkin to carve, as I like to see it glow at night. Given that it is my birthday, you'd think I'd be more enthusiastic, but at this point in my life, it just seems like any other day. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know, Eliza - it might be very fun to reinvent yourself with costuming every Halloween/birthday! I was tempted to buy a mask while out shopping with a friend a week ago but, in the absence of trick-or-treaters, there doesn't seem to be much point to that - I'm pretty sure my husband wouldn't be amused if I joined him for dinner wearing cat whiskers...

      Delete
  10. There's a house down the street that decorated with lights and stuff in the maximalist style usually reserved for Christmas -- Halloween celebrating is seriously catching on!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I drove through my former neighborhood this afternoon and saw lots of houses decorated to the nines too, Denise. One had giant spiders crawling all over it. But that densely populated area also gets lots of trick-or-treaters and we get almost none here. I do miss seeing the little kids in costume.

      Delete
  11. Very cool, it's fun to decorate for all the holidays. Your gourds could go through November. Deer love pumpkins and real pumpkins don't last in our heat so it's faux all the way around here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My local botanic garden features a "great pumpkin hunt" from September through November and they had to resort to ceramic pumpkins too. Although, as I think about, maybe a large pumpkin patch here in my garden would distract the raccoons from their grub digging - that might be worth it!

      Delete
  12. Cute! You are so creative. I can't believe you captured that squirrel in the act, in the perfect pose! He was joining in the fun!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Very cute. Love the squirrel. They've never bothered my pumpkins before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're lucky, Cindy! With some assistance from the raccoons, the squirrels make quick work of the pumpkins here. They prefer the big ones but they'll gnaw at the mini pumpkins too.

      Delete
  14. I think your decorations are cute. I don't decorate for halloween. I did when my children were small but they don't thrill me. I do decorate for fall with pumpkins etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had no children to decorate for and there were no Halloween decorations in my own childhood home, so I may be celebrating for the child I was long, long ago ;)

      Delete
  15. I love the little fellow in your top photo Kris. Your capture of the squirrel emerging from the pumpkin is quite priceless. I have never decorated specifically for Halloween but do bring out some autumn themed decorations most years which reminds me that I must see what I've done with them :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been fondly referring to the character at the top of my post as Pumpkin Monster, Anna, but he doesn't look all too intimidating, does he?

      Delete
  16. I love all of your skeletons. We try to do more a fall decorations that can go all the way till it's time to put out the Christmas decorations. We do have a bunch of spiders that go around with the fall stuff and get packed up after Halloween.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For some reason, probably because we've seldom hosted Thanksgiving dinner, I never seem to put together general autumn displays. Maybe I should go that route, though - we don't get anywhere near as many trick-or-treaters as we did at our former house.

      Delete

I enjoy receiving your comments and suggestions!