I was super excited to receive a direct message on Instagram from the New York Botanical Garden earlier this week, inviting me to an exclusive evening with Ray Villafane, pumpkin carver and scarecrow extraordinaire!  Ray is an American artist now based in Arizona, who specializes in sculpting. He is most famously known for his 3-D Style pumpkin carvings, however he is now embarking on some new scarecrow projects…





However, turn away now if you’re easily spooked..

So…. the spooky tour at the gardens began by a relatively tame stroll through some expertly carved pumpkins, masquerading as part-time scarecrows! We were also treated by displays of gourds in every shape and size; sometimes it’s hard to believe they are in fact real!

Then.. we turned a corner!

As part of a Cadillac promotion, Ray had installed a particularly demonic scarecrow in the driving seat of a shiny new saloon! Gosh, but what about the leather?!!






I also loved the scarecrow that had the essence of Woody from Toy Story!








New York Botanical Gardens really made the experience as spooky as can be. As we entered the darker area, we were greeted at intervals by play actors in costume, which added to the drama! We were treated to more of Ray’s specimens, and thankfully avoided a heart attack! The quality of his scarecrows was really good, and the addition of spooky lighting to the scarecrows really added to the drama!

What a fab event, and my first ‘opening night’ invite in New York City!! I forgot to mention the tasty, Halloween themed snacks too; the pretzel pieces with super spicy sauce and the pumpkin macarons were my favourite!

If you’re a New Yorker, or visiting the city soon, make sure you make some time to pop up to the New York Botanical Garden to enjoy this ‘Heartland to Horror’ experience!

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