Posts Tagged ‘Retro Owl Mobile’

Time to Spook-ify Your Garden for Halloween

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Photo from the Life in Robin's Nest blog

Here at aHa! Modern Living, Halloween is without a doubt our most favorite holiday. Rather than just one night of costumed revelry, we recognize Halloween as a month-long celebration of spooky, scary merriment. As far as we are concerned, October might as well be simply and appropriately renamed “Halloween Month.”

Around mid-Halloween Month each year, we start to see lawn and garden decorations popping up around our neighborhood. One of the most popular in recent years has been the large inflatable nylon yard scenes and creatures. Down the street from us, one of our neighbors has added a giant inflatable black cat to her front yard, and it bobs and dips in the chilly Halloween Month breeze as we drive past it each morning. We can’t help but feel that this lawn decoration is… well… a little bit lame. Why add what looks like a huge inflated trash bag when there is so much natural spooky-ness to be tapped into in your lawn and garden? We feel that the focus in a Halloween-inspired yard should be the yard itself, not an eight foot tall fake cat.

When it comes to Halloween yard and garden decorations, you don’t need to add nylon to your yard to get the desired creepy effect. Instead, use the natural elements of your yard to create an eerie Halloween scene. The effect will be entrancing, not cheesy or garish.

Here are our tips for spook-ifying your garden

Use death. Every fall, the majority of your plants start to die back. And really, what’s more naturally spooky than death? To create a chilling vibe in your garden, hold off on removing browned grasses and your plants’ and flowers’ seed heads. Roses leave threatening bare thorns, and without the petals, the Lilac Halo flower leaves just a spiky seed head. Zebra Grass, which is pictured at the left, sprouts feathery brown seed stalk tops, which sway in the wind and create an eerie effect. Most of your perennials do need to be cut back in the fall, but you can wait to do this until after the first frost. So let your dead foliage stick around for Halloween Month.
Highlight scary plants. We usually think of plants and flowers as being delicate, colorful, and beautiful. But there are some plants out there that are downright ominous, like this Carrion Lily. Check out our blog, Halloween Inspired Horticultural Wonders, for the full line up of scary garden plants. Or, pick up a copy of Black Plants by Paul Bonine to see a total of 75 mysteriously dark plant species. Place these plants strategically for the desired spooky effect. For example, plant them in high traffic areas such as right next to your back door, in pots around your patio, or in hanging planters around your front porch.
Use simple decorations strategically. We hope we didn’t start off by giving you the impression that we’re against Halloween decorations, because we’re certainly not. We just think there’s a right way and a wrong way to do them, and for genuine spookiness, we think simplicity rules. To add a supernatural effect to your garden, hang Roost Utopia Bird Feeders dripping with Spanish Moss. Or place a row of potted succulents, in spiky and bulbous shapes, in a row along a garden wall. The Retro Owl Mobile hung from the ceiling of your front porch, draped with torn coffee-stained cheese cloth and spiders, will greet guests wisely. Use decorations that work with and enhance your natural fall landscape, not detract from it.

Attract creepy wildlife. Sure, fake spiders can give you a little shock. But the real thing? So much spookier. If you’ve got a garden, then you probably already realize that you have plenty of things that attract critters to your yard. While every other time of year you may see this as a nuisance, try to change your attitude during Halloween month, and welcome all things creepy and crawly. Spearmint, salvia, and phlox will all attract lots of bugs, which in turn attract bats. A small puddle and some rocks, or an overturned cracked terra cotta pot, will attract frogs and toads. You can lure large birds, such as crows, blackbirds, and ravens with hearty seeds such as whole corn, and sunflower seeds and peanuts that are in the shell. Make sure to also select a feeder with a nice wide opening, such as the Perch Lunchbox Bird Feeder. Your yard will soon be filled with the distinct spooky “caw” of the crow.

How do you spook-ify your yard for Halloween Month?

Nature-inspired Mobiles Bring Life to Indoor and Outdoor Spaces

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

From left: Birds Of A Feather Mobile, Retro Owl Mobile

Feeling stumped on what to put in that empty corner of your home or outdoor patio?  Hanging mobiles in your home is an easy way to bring the outdoors in and bring life to those boring corners where other decor just doesn’t work.  Their movement simulates the waving of branches or movement of water.  Hanging a mobile in the garden or in the kitchen will add an air of tranquility and artistry to an otherwise plain space.

Mobiles can be artistic or tacky, flashy or simple, but regardless of your style, mobiles are a staple of home decor.  In particular, we love our Birds of a Feather Mobile made of walnut plywood – a perfectly balanced, modern art piece perfect for any room of the house, patio, or balcony.  The Retro Owl Mobile is a welcome addition to any modern nursery room, functioning both as a whimsical decoration and playful entertainment (also available in White and Brown).