Bewitched! Spooky Plants to Help You Celebrate Hallowe'en
Amateur Gardening|October 26, 2019
From the darkest dahlias to pumpkins for carving, it’s all treats, no tricks with Amy Adams’ round-up of flowers, bulbs and veg that will get you in the mood for the annual fright-fest
Amy Adams

It's almost the end of the month, and whether or not the UK ends up leaving the EU on 31 October, the date has another special significance: it’s Hallowe’en. While trick or treating and dressing up as a zombie or a werewolf might not be your thing, you can certainly get into the ‘spirit’ of things in your garden with some Halloween-inspired plants.

Apart from traditional carved pumpkins, which look brilliant lit by tea lights and placed on the front step, you can embrace the spooky theme by decorating your garden with a range of plants that have some connection to the annual fright-fest. Many have flowers in deep reds and purples; others boast dark leaves – and some have names that conjure up the night’s moody, mystical feel. Some are available in garden centres now, while others will need planting in the coming weeks – or in spring – so you can create a deadly display for next Halloween.

Order seeds of the half-hardy annual Cosmos atrosanguineus ‘Black Magic’ – for sowing indoors next March to June, or outdoors from April to June – and in a year’s time you will have darkly decadent flowers in shades of burgundy to almost black – plus that unmistakable aroma of chocolate.

Spooky seeds

Then there’s the dwarf and compact Petunia Merlin Series – look for ‘Merlin Cherry Rose’, a fantastic dark red. Or how about the hardy perennial malva ‘MysticMerlin’. Sow seeds from late winter to early spring and large, silky booms in shades of purple through to blue will bring magic to the back of the border in summer and early autumn.

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