Garden Photo of the Day

A Perfectly Spooky Garden

Gardening with a Halloween flare

I was leaving for work a few mornings ago and noticed how foggy it was in my neighborhood. I had to stop and take a few shots of the spookiness the shroud created in my gardens! My name is Keri Shinault, I have been gardening for about 10 years and live in Zone 6b in Hebron, Kentucky. My zone experiences all four seasons, and as a result, my garden is planted for year-round interest. I have new things coming up on a weekly basis late March through October, and evergreens round out the winter months. Walking into the garden feels like Christmas most of the time because there is always something new opening!

My husband, Brandon, and I eloped in October 2005 and then returned home for a Halloween masquerade reception. We have continued to throw this party annually and host around 80 people in our home and throughout the grounds. We deck out our gardens with creepy critters, ghouls, and headstones to help create the perfect Halloween atmosphere. The fog really added the final touch on this particular morning, so I snapped some pics to share with my garden-loving friends.

We have a mix of trees and shrubs on the property ranging from evergreen holly bushes (Ilex), laurels, a weeping and nonweeping Norwegian spruce (Picea abies, Zones 2–7), and eight Western arborvitae trees (Thuja plicata, Zones 5–8). We also have conifers such as a weeping bald cypress (Taxodium distichum, Zones 4–9) and two dawn redwoods (Metasequoia glyptostroboides, Zones 5–8). The deciduous and perennial varieties are a Bloodgood Japanese maple (Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’, Zones 5–9), chocolate mimosa (Albizia julibrissin ‘Summer Chocolate’, Zones 6–9), ash trees (Fraxinus species), tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera, Zones 4–9), forsythia, oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia, Zones 5–9), butterfly bushes (Buddleia), and wisteria. Many different ground covers adorn the multiple paths throughout the property. We grow 12 to 15 herbs throughout the growing season, a few of which overwinter, which is fantastic! I also have hundreds of bulbs planted that come up weekly from May through September.

My garden is my happy place! I don’t know what I will do without it when we downsize eventually.

Fog adds a magical spooky touch to the garden.

A beautiful sitting area, surrounded by beautiful plants, with flog blurring the distance.

garden water featureA water feature trickles through the garden.

garden halloween decorationsA Halloween skeleton frog

halloween decorationsSit a while! Take a load off those tired bones.

BeautyberryBeautyberry (Callicarpa) comes into its own in the fall, with rich purple berries.

pink dahliaA bright dahlia in front of a spooky skeleton.

Adding lots of shrubs gives the garden lots of structure and interest every day of the year.

oakleaf hydrangeaStepping stones set into lush ground covers guide you around massive oakleaf hydrangea shrubs.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/04/2019

    How awesome that you have continued with your Halloween party tradition throughout the years of your marriage. I suspect that as your garden and plantings have matured, it makes the placement of the spooky themed ornamentation even more fun. The weeping evergreens/conifers are a delight all through the year but really add some extra special haunted ambiance for your special "spooktacular" festivity.

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 11/04/2019

    I had to chuckle when I saw your skeleton frog. That is so cute! I second the comment about weeping evergreens. I suspect they are wonderful to see in the winter.

  3. User avater
    simplesue 11/04/2019

    I enjoyed reading your garden story and seeing your photos. Your Halloween decorations in the garden are so cute and playful! What a magical focal point you made with the sound of water and the seating area with all the stonework- wow what a nice spot to enjoy nature at any season and the weather and fog and sun of the seasons. Thanks for sharing this post!

  4. btucker9675 11/04/2019

    Your garden is charming - even when foggy/spooky! Thank you for sharing!

  5. sheila_schultz 11/04/2019

    Your gardens are enchanting... each detail thoughtfully positioned. You must love placing every single decoration for your Halloween fest. I LOVE it all!!!

  6. nobita88 11/06/2019

    A spooky garden is so beautiful and so fresh, I love the posts from you. atari breakout

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