Halloween Costumes for Plant People

By Kate Bryant October 27, 2011

A Chinese shop merchant’s idea of a “sexy gardener” – part naughty librarian and part Saint Pauli Girl! From Ali Baba costume supplier. (I know nothing about this supplier and neither do or do not endorse this product or vendor.)

I was contemplating Halloween costume ideas and suddenly, the thought of some kind of garden-related costume crossed my mind. What would be clever and campy and suitable for a party full of horticultural revelers – but not so ironic as to be tiresome?

Of course I started perusing on line garden-related Halloween costume ideas and soon discovered someone had actually had the same thought as me – and marketed it. There are several sites: here, a "sexy gardener" costume, complete with vixeny apron and watering can; here, the garden ho (or hoe, for family-oriented readers).

But the sexy version of everything has been done before. And besides, who wants to dress your child up as a garden ho? No-one! (Right?) So if you’re looking for fodder for your gardeny Halloween costume, here are some ideas to start you off:

- Insects. There are so many insects out there that could be replicated with a little tin foil, body paint and gossamer wings. Spiders are pretty common but bees are so hip right now – how about a native bumble bee or that marvelous pollinator, the orchard mason bee? Or a "beneficial insect" like a ladybug, hoverfly or praying mantis? Guys, you’ll melt a gardener-girl’s heart in a bee costume, I guarantee it. If you want to strike fear in a gardener’s heart, you could dress up as the dreaded root weevil. Going to a winery party? Dress up as a glassy-winged sharp-shooter or Phylloxera, two insects that destroy wine grape plants. You’ll be the life of the party!

- Garden Tools. You want to deconstruct the idea of a "garden ho"? Dress up as a "garden hoe" instead! Okay, it’s a dorky idea but it could be a scintillating conversation-starter. C’mon, who isn’t sick of all those obvious, cheap, supposedly sexy costumes? Where has all the creativity gone? You might need to be skinny, but you could wear a nice sharp, silver headdress and just stand there having people bring you drinks all night while you lean up against a shed.

- Lady Chatterly’s Lover. Are you a guy that wishes he could be a garden ho? If you have a Derbyshire dialect down, you’re home free! Dress up in a rustic pair of worn khakis, a work shirt (unbuttoned a little too far), and maybe a tweedy 1920s cap. Want to be gardeny but not too male-ho-y? Don a slightly provocative leather holster for your tools. Now, quick, read the book for more details – Halloween’s just a few days away!

- Heirloom Vegetables. You could be something simple like an organic spaghetti squash. (Can make an organic sticker for self.) Or, if you have papier mache, you could whip up a costume in the shape of a ruffled heirloom tomato like Costoluto de Genovese. Kids always look super-cute dressed up in a pea-pod outfit. But what about a purple potato? Or local favorites, kale or cabbage? And here’s a good challenge: okra!


toddler’s garden gnome costume spotted on ebay

- Garden Nymph, Fairy, Sprite or Gnome. These are just adorable, no matter whether it’s a child or grown-up in costume. Who wouldn’t want to be a little sprite? The costume possibilities are endless! A quick google results in lots of great images to play with. You can affix fresh flowers and foliage all over yourself. For inspiration, check out these flower shoes on florist Françoise Weeks’ website.

- Be a Plant. Dress up as a simple giant sunflower (maybe you’ll meet a nice pollinating insect at the party!) or maybe an orchid, many of which require acrobatics on the part of prospective pollinators! Or, if you’re feeling a bit plant-nerdy, a Trachelospermum asiaticum (wind the vines and tendrils all around yourself, over a body stocking!) or our native coastal pine, Pinus contorta, which has a very fine form. People will ask you, "So, what are you?" and you will be able to reply…

Oh, it’s silly, never mind!
Have fun.

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