Trick or Treat Sidewalk Style

While I must admit the project motivation is providing a seasonal backdrop for trick-or-treaters, enhancing my sidewalk beds with fall color is just as much a treat for me.

This color palette works well all season long, creating a festive entrance for costume-covered kiddos and a fun, fall welcome for family and friends on Thanksgiving Day. 

How to get this look:

Step 1:  Work the two bags of purchased soil into the existing soil. I also like to add a bucket of small pine bark mini nuggets to help the soil breathe. This step is important because you are replenishing the soil and creating a happy, healthy home for your plants.  

Step 2:  Before planting, I like to pre-position the plants, allowing me to visualize the look. First, place the Purple Pixie® Loropetalum and Obsession™ Nandina on top of the soil, at least 4 feet apart. Next, dig a hole 1 1/2 times the size of the root ball. Be careful when planting the Purple Pixie® Loropetalum as its roots are sensitive. Be sure to leave at least 2 inches of the root ball above the ground, as Purple Pixie® does not like wet feet!  Obsession™ Nandina is not quite as sensitive, so it’s OK to loosen its roots before planting. For the nandina, you should leave 1-2 inches of the root ball above the ground. These plants are your foundation plants and will act as the bones for the rest of the display. 

Step 3:  Add contrasting colors. We chose bronze-colored mums, red violas, and kale.  Do not stress about plant placement, simply scatter them throughout the work area and then fill in the holes. I prefer gallon-sized material because it brings instant gratification and doesn’t take as long to fill in. 

To ensure your newly-planted bed remains eye-catching, fertilize the plants and provide plenty of water. To ensure you’re watering adequately, hold the hose over each plant for at least one minute. To me, the easiest way to fertilize is by using a liquid feed. Just look for the blue bag of powder at your local garden center and attach it to your hose.

To complete your fall-friendly sidewalk, scatter mini pine nuggets around the soil or use pine straw instead. On special occasions such as Halloween, you may choose to place candles in mason jars and hang them with jute string from shepherd’s hooks. This will let trick-or-treaters know you are open for business! 


  • 3- 3 gallon Obsession™ Nandina
  • 3- 3 gallon Purple Pixie® Loropetalum
  • 6- 1 gallon mums
  • 6- 1 gallon violas
  • 6- 1 gallon kale
  • 2- bags of soil


  • Shovel