Preparing for the Spectacular: Behind the Scenes of our Halloween Open Day and Garden Preparations!

This month we have spent considerable amount of time preparing for the half term Halloween Open Day. It’s only the second time we have opened the garden this year, but it good practice for next year where we will be open once a month from March till November.

Aside from the team working hard to weed all the paths, edge the lawns, tidy flowerbeds and finish cutting the meadows, time has been spent setting out and creating the ghost trail with twelve suitable spooky plants being chosen, plus sourcing and arranging pumpkins to go around our autumn pot displays in the front of the hall. The displays were made up of chrysanthemum in dark colours, late flowering Salvia, Phormiums, Palms and Ginkgo Biloba (Maidenhair Tree).

In preparation for the event, we also added many spooky Halloween touches across the garden. Including a haunted tractor driven by a skeleton. Various spiders and lots and lots of pumpkins.

The day itself was a huge success. Despite heavy rain most of the week running up to the event. The day itself was sunny with blue skies. The pumpkin carving was incredibly popular, with many different styles and creations. Karen of Fantasy facepainting came along and was very busy painting Halloween themed face paints. These young witches and wizards were then very busy running round trying to complete the Ghost Trail, which were hidden across the site. The trail itself was not so easy as Number 4 Ghost kept getting missed, but diligent children and their parent persisted till they found them all.

In the stable yard, a pop up café, pumpkin carving, and a apple press demo was keeping everyone entertained. With a mix of traditional carving tools, acrylic paint, stickers and stencils there were quite a range of decorated pumpkins.

Todd, our Estate Manager, got creative with black plastic pipe and many cans of black and white spray paint and decorated a enormous spider in the stable yard.

Pumpkin carving/painting was a great fun and here are some of the finished pumpkins.

In the Kitchen Garden, there is lots of clearing of beds as many of the crop’s have finished for the season. The last of the courgettes have been harvested, leeks and pumpkins have been harvested and the last of the plums, grapes, berries have been harvested and frozen in readiness to be made in to Fairlight’s preserves. In the Shepherd’s Hut some of Fairlight’s organically grown produce was for sale, Langor Shallots, Celeriac and Parsley. Despite it being nearly November, there is still lots of colour and produce to be seen.

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