Day of the Dead in Lucinda’s colorful garden

October 27, 2022

Lucinda Hutson welcomed me and Terry Speight, my recent Garden Spark speaker, to see her garden decorated for Day of the Dead last week. It’s a treat I look forward to all year.

Lucinda’s garden and purple cottage always glow with color in October, when cool days and nights and — at last! – The rain brings out the flowers again.

Hyacinth bean vines add more purple to the garden

Lucinda is decorating for Day of the Dead like I don’t know. (Click here for last year’s tour.) The skeletal woman in her lacy dress takes pride of place in the front garden, posing with a black cat that represents Lucinda’s recently departed and beloved Sancho Rey.

From behind, she’s just as good, a little ghostly, as she spreads purple royal wings.

Another skeleton lady greets you on the front porch.

Lucinda cleverly uses waterproof Day of the Dead shopping bags from HEB Grocery to decorate her porch arch.

Fall annuals go in round terracotta pots along the driveway.

A fallen sky creeper flower (Thunbergia grandiflora), a beautiful shade of blue-lilac, fixed on the hinges of a gate.

In the Mermaid Garden, an arch of shells frames an iron mermaid against a turquoise fence.

Skeleton Mermaids come out for Day of the Dead.

Another mermaid emerges from the terracotta pot while the fish swims on the decorative plate.

A smoky-orange bougainvillea smokes against the purple house.

Just look at that rich color.

St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost things, is framed by an old wheelbarrow trough adorned with dozens of keys. Haven’t we all lost a few of these?

The raised edible garden shines with potted marigolds and begonias at this time of year.

Lucinda’s kitchen window overlooks the garden, made of corn tiles and broken pottery. Pink-flowered coral creeper (Antigone Leptopus) is one of my favorite vines for fall.

Its flowers are showy and delicate, but the vine itself is hardy, even in the scorching heat of summer.

Bright pillows add color to a cedar bench, a bathtub Madonna as a corner focal point.

She is a classic Lucinda vignette.

A potted begonia with silver potted flowers makes a playful accent with vegetables.

More begonias, St. Francis and another Sancho in the background

Lemongrass and Marigold

Festive foods create a playful edge to the edible garden.

Lucinda loves color and here the siding on the house turns golden yellow. Painted children’s chairs from Mexico hang on the walls as decorations.

Looking back along the garden path

Candle stubs in a metal tub are evidence of a recent garden gathering.

Lucinda’s Famous Tequila Cantina sits behind her garage.

Empty tequila bottles adorn the shelves of an old wooden cabinet.

This is new: reading a sign Tequila please Made with Mexican and Puerto Rican license plates!

Shelf skull with Tillandsia hair

Lucinda deck and dining table. It is the office in the courtyard to his left.

Before we left, we took a selfie of the three of us at the Mermaid Garden, all smiles after a fun garden visit.

Lucinda insisted we have a cookie or two — gingerbread skulls — and delicious Mexican pastries. Yum!

Inside, we got a sneak peek of her Day of the Dead table settings and altars, and a few days later I was invited to see them lit up at night. That is coming in my next post.

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Learn about garden design from the experts here Garden Spark! I host private talks with inspiring designers, landscape architects, and writers several times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance. Just click on this link and ask to be added. You can find this year’s speaker lineup here.

All material © 2022 by Pam Penick for Excavation. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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