It is Halloween and Halloween is one of my most favorite holidays. My husband’s as well. We are very particular about our Halloween traditions. He always makes the kids costumes. And I always decorate the yard.
We don’t go in for much of that buying Halloween paraphernalia stuff (though I do clean up at after Halloween sales). I mean, after all, it is much more fun to make your own bloody stumps than to buy one.
I probably put more into decorating my house for Halloween than I do into decorating it for Christmas. Halloween is just fun to decorate for. It is the one night a year when the world gets to be all topsy turvey. You are suppose to be scared. You are suppose to be crazy. You are suppose to be something other than what you are.
Which is why a week before Halloween, me and the boys head out into the yard and I let them loose with props, tempera paint and a blood lust. Next thing you know, we have a bona fide crime scene going, with body outlines and blood spatter everywhere. CSI would be proud.
Every year, we also try to create one car stopping, holy crap what is that thing in our yard. The type of thing that will have someone heading home and telling a friend, “You’ll never guess what I saw…” This year, that thing was the Shrub Monster.
We have this shrub that sits in the middle of our front yard. I wanted to get rid of it, but my husband begged me to keep it. I told him that, much like the dog, as long as he took care of it and I didn’t have to bother with it, it would stay. And so it goes that my husband is now the Official Shrub Shaper and Trimmer, which is his only other gardening duty other than Lawn Mowing and Moving Heavy Pots.
The shrub is now 8′ tall and looks like a conehead, but I don’t have to mess with it so that’s okay with me.
This year, while we were decorating the yard for Halloween, it occurred to me that the shrub would make a really good decoration on its own. We had just finished making a pair of Lawn Eyeballs and an idea formed in my head.
We shoved the giant eyeballs into the shrub, added a tongue (cut from an old egg crate foam mattress and spray painted red) and fangs (cut from a piece of shipping packaging styrofoam). And to top it off, we stuck a plastic severed foot into the “mouth”.
Traffic has been slowing down all week and tonight people were even posing with it. Mission accomplished. We once again have the cool Halloween house on the block.
It just goes to show, if you keep your eye and imagination open, your garden can help out in all sorts of way. Of course they may be a few small children who will have odd nightmares tonight about man-eating hedges, but as I said… It is Halloween. You are suppose to be scared. And even shrubs have a right to be scary.