How to Spook Gardeners on Halloween

Tongue in cheek… just for some Halloween fun, I thought I’d see if I can spook any gardeners with some garden Goth.

What might cause my gardener’s soul some sleepless nights?

Night Raiders of the Orchard

Ghosts would be welcome over these nocturnal haunters: mule deer, raccoons, foxes. At least ghosts can’t eat fruit or leaves. Better fence those fruit trees. What’s that munching sound?!

Mule Deer eating in the orchard at night
Mule deer eating orchard fruit trees at night

Daytime Pillagers

Paper wasps eating fruit–yikes, don’t grab that Asian pear! A hungry red fox with sharp teeth is sniffing for the duck run. A bordered plant bug ransacking the corn. Shoo!


You saw it here, folks–look closely! That’s an earwig riding on the back of a snail, out for lunch together at the Dahlia Diner. Are you kidding me?! And, drought PLUS gophers?! Sigh. Might as well garden on the moon.

Invasive Species

A wheelbarrow full of nonnative Italian thistles… wait… there’s another patch over there! Get the shovel and the heavy gloves! And then there is poisonous pokeweed… the first that arrived before the thousands followed. The roots are bigger than Texas. Technically edible if you put the leaves through the washing machine then the microwave (joke) which is good because soon there will be nothing left in the garden except pokeweed.

A Great White

Yes, it’s a gorgeous Great Egret peeking out from behind the oak tree, but doesn’t it look kind of guilty? That’s because it’s seeing if I’m paying attention as it scopes out the koi pond, or maybe the tadpole tank. Please… not the fish or the frogs! Go hunt a gopher!

Great Egret peeking out from oak tree
Great Egret peeking out from oak tree

Creepy Stuff

I know some of you like praying mantises, but I find them deeply disturbing for some reason. Maybe I was a mantis husband in a past life? … (shivers) … I’m less bothered by a venomous black widow spider, unless I didn’t know it was there. … And, when you notice a new bug and hope its something cool and find out it’s an invasive Three-lined Cockroach. Great. Remind me to get chickens.

Is anyone scared yet? Bacterial canker! Did that do it? I’m quaking. I might need to watch a rom-com after this. 🙂 I never understood Halloween. Life is scary enough.

A Happy Halloween Ending

Let’s end with something more pleasant. Here are some treats–a little selection of October garden things from past and present to bid you adieu and a happy and safe Halloween: a truly Gothic-looking calendula flower seedhead, colorful fall leaves, ripening persimmons, Cinderella pumpkins, dewdrop ornaments on a lovely web, and a spectacular fall sunset from last year.

Halloween actually has a fascinating history that wasn’t always about spooks and treats, as you may know. If you want to refresh your memory about it, check out this article on the History of Halloween. I like the harvest festival and the thin veil between the living and the dead part. That doesn’t scare me. Just mantises. 🙂

Happy Halloween!


P.S. (If subscribers would like a free gift of this little digital art pumpkin I made, like for a screensaver or Halloween party invite, email me at and I will send the PDF to you. For personal and non-commercial use only please.)

Come visit again sometime at–a chat over the garden fence. ~ Organic Gardening ~ Upcycling ~ Butterfly Habitat ~

5 thoughts on “How to Spook Gardeners on Halloween

  1. What a lot of life you share your garden with! I was very impressed with the racoon! The scariest is the black widow spider, I remember reading about them in novels. Is there a risk that they might bite you? Amelia

    1. Hi Amelia! Raccoons are so cute, as are foxes, but they do climb the fruit trees and eat the fruit. Yes, the black widows can be deadly venomous, but they are very shy and run towards cover if you happen upon one. They prefer dark places under cover. So the only danger is if you grab one while moving a pot or turning over a rock. Apparently fatalities are rare. They can find their way indoors under furniture (or even in shoes!), so I do use diatomaceous earth indoors. I’m fine with them outside, just not in the house. 😉 Always lovely to hear from you and see your garden posts! -lisa

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