Husband and Wife Create an Autumn Experience You’ll Remember in Excelsior

Cathy Lingo, co-owner of The Garden Patch with her husband Tom, has been creating beautiful and spookily festive garden displays for over 20 years now. Just off of Highway 19, families can enjoy a fall afternoon learning about the historical traditions of Halloween.
“We have informational signs everywhere that explain traditional Halloween ‘myths,’ like the black cat, or the origin of scarecrows,” Lingo says. “We want kids to learn the history of what Halloween really is.” The Lingos aim to educate children in a fun way, and they do this by never trying to scare them away.

“This is not some haunted garden. We want to make sure kids are excited to come back next year,” Lingo explains. The Garden Patch at Halloween includes giant pumpkins, ghosts hanging in trees and a group of witches that are always doing something fun—from hosting a barbecue to running a beauty salon. Of course, visitors can also purchase pumpkins, squash and Halloween decorations at the market.

The Lingos prepare for the fall garden months in advance. “By mid-October of 2017, we knew what we were going to be doing for this year,” Lingo says about prepping for the season. In addition to the Lingos, The Garden Patch has seven employees, and it’s all hands on deck to install and staff the popular attraction.

“After Labor Day, customers will come into our shop asking when we will be opening the Halloween garden,” Lingo explains. This year, the Halloween setup is up through October 30.

The display is free to the public, and families from all over the metro take advantage of it. Lingo says, “Kids will watch from the highway for the ghosts in the tree in excitement, because they know they are close.”