Garden Rant Cocktail Hour: Halloween Edition



Welcome to a special episode of the GRCH.


The Witch’s Jellybeantini

1 part vodka, ½ part each Black Sambuca and Cassis (or any berry liquor), 2 parts cranberry juice
Shake with ice, mutter an incantation, and enjoy.

Bulb forcing tips: All hyacinths force well, but Single Early and Triumph are the best tulip classes for home forcing. Do try other tazetta narcissus than the common Ziva for forcing. Old House Gardens and Brent and Becky’s have some great alternatives: Erlicheer, Grand Primo, Golden Rain, and Grand Soleil d'Or are some of the types. P.S. The witch is a bit optimistic—it takes hyacinths and tulips a good 8 weeks or better to come into bloom after they emerge from the chilling period.

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regular radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world, and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. Back in the days before witches bought their potion ingredients at Ye Olde Herball Shoppe, they grew their own, so witches had gardens. Did you know that a couple hundred years ago, one could be burned at the stake for growing Aconite? It was an ingredient in flying salve, so only a witch would grow it.

  2. The witch who lives in the big house with the crazy, overgrown garden is a pretty standard character in children’s literature. Right now I’m thinking of Because of Winn Dixie. Of course, they aren’t really witches, just misunderstood older women who like flowers better than most people.

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