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Month: April 2017

It’s Time to Desecrate Your Goth Garden

It’s Time to Desecrate Your Goth Garden

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This is the first in a series of Goth Garden posts. To keep your goth garden amongst the living, you must commit to continual change. Plants live, plants die, and some plants come back from near death if you tend to your black thumb. I won’t pretend to know your climate and what lives and dies in your zone at various times of year… that would be up to you. But I will give you ideas to mix and match in your garden to make it spooky, eerie, or even somewhat disturbing. Some of the best ideas aren’t even plants, and will survive anything short of disaster. And that’s what we’re going to start with!

Mortifying Disclaimer: This blog contains affiliate links, which means I receive payment if you make a purchase using any links. This is to help pay for my domain, and any spooky adventures I may post about in the future.

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Nosferatu the Vampire Bust

I don’t know about you, but I’d be damned with giddiness to perch this fanged savage at my garden gate. Problem is, I don’t have a garden gate. But when I do (and I will), this is going to attract creepers and invitees alike to my twisted garden lair. He serves as a warning that chances of survival are bleak.


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The Veiled Maiden Sculptural Bust

This gloomy beauty is eerily melancholy. If you have a faux (or otherwise?) cemetery included in your goth garden, the Veiled Maiden will induce feelings of dread as she welcomes your victims guests to the afterlife.


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Crazy Bonez Skeleton Raven

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Crazy Bonez Bat Skeleton

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Crazy Bonez Cat Skeleton

No goth garden is complete without deceased wildlife. Especially deceased wildlife that looks pissed off. This sinister trio may (we can hope) induce anxiety in that beastly little deer that keeps chowing down on your black elderberry.



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Disney’s Haunted Mansion Hostess Apron

This is what I would choose to do my ghastly gardening in! Who out of their right minds wouldn’t want to cosplay as a gardening ghost host? Your neighbors will think you’ve lost your marbles, but you can respond by smothering them with kindness.


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Disney’s Haunted Mansion Plaque

When hinges creak in hidden garden chambers, and strange and frightening sounds echo through the trees… Whenever candlelights flicker where the air is deathly still… That is the time when ghosts are present, practicing their terror with ghoulish delight! Grim garden ghosts come out to socialize!


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Ruby Red Monarda (Bee Balm)

I shan’t leave you without an ominous flower. Blood red and solemn, this Ruby Red Moranda glooms in the summer and the fall.

Ghoulish Gardening to You, Foolish Mortals.

Give a Friend a Spooky Book: 9 Eerie Favorites

Give a Friend a Spooky Book: 9 Eerie Favorites

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It’s nearing summer, and if you’re like me, that fills you with dread. Not the good kind of dread, but the ready kind of dread. At least if you live in a state where the weather can top 100°F for days in a row, and you’re a delicate flower petal who wilts in the heat. All summer long you pine for autumn, with its crisp breezes and the best holidays ever.
There’s a need that has to be filled for those of us who count the days ’til autumn… a psychological need to line up one’s neurons with reminders that dreaded summer will not last foreverrrrrr. I equate autumn with eeriness, and if you’re reading this, you quite possibly do as well. So, what better to caress the hope and make the wait tolerable than to sink one’s brain into the eerie world we hold so dear? Books! Spooky ones!
I’m asking you to read something that reminds you that fall is just around the corner on the grand scale of time, something spooky or eerie or dangerous. Pick up something from an actual bookstore… not an iBook or a Kindle. You want something you can curl up with in bed that won’t keep you awake with obnoxious blue lightwaves. You want to flip pages and smell paper. I want you to fall asleep reading your spooky book every night. And when you finish it, I want you to give it to a friend. Because you have some extra love for those friends who covet autumn as much as you do, and you want to show it.
Here are 9 of my personal favorites to get in the mood…
Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife – Mary Roach
I’ve given this one before! It’s not scary, but it is spooky, and it will leave you wondering and quite possibly believing.
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The Shining – Stephen King (far more disturbing than the movies)
The lawn animals. What? They didn’t show that in the movie? I was seriously stressed out.
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Darkly Dreaming Dexter – Jeff Lindsay
How is a butcher of humans just so likable? Admit it… you can relate to his mindset.
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Ghost Story – Peter Straub
I admit I haven’t read this one, but if it’s scarier than the film you’ll not be sleeping.
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The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson
Oh, Dr. Montague… why did you have to play this game? The house is hungry.
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The Thief of Always – Clive Barker
I read this when it was released. It’s been a long time. Good ol’ Clive normally writes for adults, but this one’s for children, though adults are allowed as well. I think I’ll read it to my kids. They could use a good, fantastic mind game.
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Where are the Children? – Mary Higgins Clark
You’ll keep your children on a leash.
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Creepshow (the comic book) – Stephen King
My mom tried to jack my comic book because she’s the Stephen King collector. Nope! Not quite as creepy as the film, but way more fun. If I give this to a friend, it’s going to have to be a newer copy, as I’m pretty attached to mine.
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Interview With the Vampire – Anne Rice
In fact, read the entirety of the Vampire Chronicles. Pass them along one by one.
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Fireflies

Fireflies

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I’ve been fascinated by fireflies since I first saw them near Houston, Texas when I was 7 years old. My aunt Joan took me out to her backyard acreage for a treat, not telling me in advance what I was going to see. That was ::cough!:: 40 years ago, so I may not remember details exactly, but I vaguely remember sitting on a 3-person canopy swing with my mom and Aunt Joan at dusk, and being fascinated by the little light show that was starting to twinkle and blink. I don’t think there were many, which isn’t surprising since fireflies mostly reside in the eastern states, but there were enough to start a lifelong love. I was enamored!

I’m worried, as I keep reading that firefly populations are dwindling, and may one day be nonexistent. It hurts my heart. I’m a native Californian, and although we supposedly have a smattering of fireflies somewhere in this state (don’t ask me where, as I’ve never seen one here), I’ve longed for years to live in a place where they’re common. I’ve heard we have glow worms – which, again, I haven’t seen, but they don’t really count because they don’t illuminate fields like runaway Christmas lights.

Some theories as to why fireflies are disappearing are development, light pollution, and pesticides. Development replaces firefly habitats with homes and businesses, obviously. Light pollution prevents mating by dulling the signals male and female fireflies use to find one another (the loneliness!). Pesticides just plain kill them (thanks, Monsanto).

This website can tell you more about the disappearing firefly, and how you can help populations in your area (unless you’re in California, eh?) recover: Firefly: Enigmatic, Enchanting, Endangered

If you have leaf litter in your yard, keep it rather than dumping it. Set aside a space in your yard for it, or start a compost pile. Same with rotting logs, where some species of larvae develop.

Turn off the outdoor lights so the little sweeties can locate each other and get it on.

Avoid chemical pesticides. They’ll eventually kill you, too.

Protect wet areas like streams, ponds and lakes from chemicals, and consider adding water features to your property. If mosquitoes are a problem, look for firefly-safe methods of controlling them, like mosquito larvaecides.

Avoid firefly bits and pieces by not over-mowing your lawn. Give them time to develop and mature between mowings. Also, consider plantings of long grasses, a preferred habitat.

And, please, spread the word. If there’s anything worth getting activist about, it’s these sparkly little beauties! Talk to your neighbors, talk to your city council, make informative fliers, or even host an information-packed firefly party at which everyone requires a light-up hiney (hey, just an idea)!

All that said, my family is considering a move away from firefly-free California (for many reasons) to an area where they still somewhat abound… perhaps central Indiana. And while we may try catching them in jars just for the experience, we will indubitably set them free in hopes they’ll go make more!

And here I’ll leave you with a magical video…