This little project started out as a challenge to salvage the reputation of Dusty Miller, the plant that garners disdain from many professional garden designers. After pondering the shape and texture of Dusty Miller for over a month, I realized it’s the PERFECT Halloween plant and would make a great Gothic container arrangement.
Look how the Dusty Miller’s leaves eerily resemble rib cages. Pretty creepy right? This is why I named this arrangement Dusty Bones. It really wasn’t difficult to put together, I’ll outline my materials and steps below.
- black pot, in this case, a black Halloween pail from the dollar store
- ice pick or drill to make drainage holes in the pail
- coffee filter or drainage stones
- enough Dusty Miller to fill the selected pot
- potting soil
- 2 bags of plastic skulls from the dollar store
- 2 bags of bony hands from the dollar store
- enough wooden kitchen skewers for 1 per skull and hand
- medium grey acrylic craft paint
- small, cheap paint brush, don’t waste money on a fancy brush for this
- hot glue gun
- fake spider webbing and plastic spiders
- If the container you chose is not a bona fide pot, you’ll need to create drainage holes. Depending on the material the container is made from, use an ice pick or drill and make 4 —6 holes.
- I’m always running short of proper drainage stones for containers so I’ll often use a coffee filter instead. Since the container isn’t supposed to last forever, it usually works fine. Either way, you need to place stones or a coffee filter in the pot.
- Using the potting soil and your Dusty Miller(s), arrange and plant as you would normally.
- Water thoroughly.
While the Dusty Miller is draining, lay out the tools for the next part.
- Paint the skewers a medium grey so they won’t be so noticeable among the Dusty Miller’s leaves.
- Once dry, hot glue the skulls and hands onto the skewers, one per skewer. Gently prop up as needed so they cool straight.
- Now just poke those skulls and bony hands into the pot among the leaves. Notice and revel in how the Dusty Miller’s leaves resemble rib cages. Cool eh?
- Dress up the pot with fake spider webbing and hang a few spiders from it.
That’s pretty much it. I’ll probably move Dusty Bones indoors during winter, we kinda got this year-round Halloween thing going.