Friday, October 11, 2013

A Spooky White House Garden

By Casey Calhoun, White House Organic Gardener
From: Dorothy St. James's White House Gardener Mysteries

Halloween is the time of year when we are given the chance to have a little fun in the White House gardens.

Each year, the administration invites children from local schools, military families, and staff to come trick or treating at the White House. It's a time for the gardeners to give the children a fun (but spooky) experience as they approach the famous front door.

Here are some things we do at the White House that anyone can do at home to make for a spooky fun time this Halloween!

1. Turn off the porch light. Instead, shine orange spotlights on the house.
2. Decorate the porch with a harvest theme that can last until Thanksgiving using pumpkins, dried ears of corn, large pots (cauldrons) of orange marigolds. Give the decorations a Halloween twist by hanging over sized spiders and spiderwebs. Don't forget to hang a skeleton in a corner!
3. Line the walk with flickering illuminated bags using electronic candles and paper bags.
4. Always look for niches to place the unexpected "monster" in your front garden.

If you do this, I'm sure  the neighborhood ghosts and goblins will come to your house looking for treats instead of bringing tricks.

Have a safe and fun Halloween this year!

Be sure to read all about the adventures I had in the White House gardens this fall in my latest mystery novel, OAK AND DAGGER.


You can learn more about Dorothy St. James's books at her website. Join her Facebook page. Or follow her on Twitter.

Praise for FLOWERBED OF STATE (book #1 in the White House Gardener Mysteries):
"Credible characters, a fast-paced plot, and a light look at political life in Washington, D.C., will delight cozy fans." ~ Publishers Weekly

Praise for THE SCARLET PEPPER (book #2 in the White House Gardener Mysteries):
"A potboiler of homicide, blackmail, journalism, power and sex - but one that St. James handles with taste as well as verve - “The Scarlet Pepper” fulfills the promise of last year’s series debut, “Flowerbed of State,” and then some." ~ Richmond Times-Dispatch

Praise for OAK AND DAGGER (book #3 in the White House Gardener Mysteries):
"Hang on tight! This story is a wild ride! I loved it!" ~ Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book Blog


  1. I have never really had the time to decorate for Halloween - maybe I'll have to make the effort this year. I think in 20 years I have had 5 Trick-or-Treaters at my house - it just never seemed worth the all out effort.

  2. I don't get trick or treaters. That's OK, I get candy, just in case, then get to eat it myself!

  3. O that is some great advice to a Halloween newbie. It is just starting to get popular here in Holland.