Wednesday, June 3, 2015

...the story of a pumpkin and other big plants...

The Pumpkin Patch

Gardens are a form of autobiography.
~Sydney Eddison

My fella 10/27/14 carrying the pumpkin purchased from Miller Farms Market
Half the time in life and in gardening, I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m not being down on myself; I honestly just have no idea what I’m doing. I’m a pretty darn curious person and I like a good project.

The pumpkin in question-- bottom right of picture
So last week when I discovered that the *weed* I was about to pull was actually a pumpkin vine, my initial feeling was glee because I had completely skipped the “is that darn seed ever going to grow” state and was now witnessing growth. Then I remembered that pumpkins require a good amount of space. 

Winter 2014
As far as townhomes go, my backyard is pretty generous. It’s about 27 X 15. I have a 6 ft privacy fence which still doesn’t keep out the peeping neighborhood kids but sometimes I think they’re peeping because my backyard is pretty darn magical. In full on summer, I let the three butterfly bush plants have their way. I remember going to a gardening seminar and letting it slip that I didn’t prune back one of my plants and this older woman berated me for “doing it all wrong” because it would grow too large. I’m sure I silently whispered FU in my head which certainly could have been read through my squinty eyes because this girl does not have a poker face. So anyway, her scolding backfired because I remember thinking, “I’m going to let that mother fucker get as big as it wants…tree size even” (sorry y’all for my potty mouth) and you know what, it does each summer.  The butterfly bush in the corner along with the scotch broom each grow 7-8 ft tall. They also offer great privacy from street traffic and the before mentioned peeping children. Plus, the birds, butterflies, bees, bugs, and bats love it which makes me happy because my garden is their garden!

So while I like plants to grow big… such as this elephant ear from two summers ago. 
Oddly enough, I did not plant a bulb in my side yard this year but I have an elephant ear growing there! Thank you birds???... I just wasn’t sure what I would do with a pumpkin patch. 
Elephant ear

Butterfly bush
March 2015
When my fella saw it, he reminded me that not only was it the pumpkin that I decided was just going to go back to nature in our backyard during winter but it was one of our WEDDING PUMPKINS! He’s a sensitive and sentimental fella so he thinks it’s pretty magical… and I do too. Plus, how often do any of us have the chance to know the story of our pumpkins? 

This pumpkin came to us the day after our wedding. The little guy decorated our front yard until the association rules state we have to remove holiday decor. In November, the pumpkin was moved to the backyard because he was still stunning and I didn't have the heart to let him go... so he went back to nature. In early spring when I was hopeful and looking for growth, he was nothing but a mushy ol' pumpkin. Now, eight months from when he came to us he's turned into Magic!

After encouragement from Connie over at Hartwood Roses and finding a few articles about growing pumpkins in urban gardens, I found this inspiration post. This family grew their pumpkins vertical because they have a small urban garden. I can totally do this! At least I’m going to give it my best try!


  1. Butterfly bushes can get pretty big, I`ve cut back some where the trunk was over 5 inch wide, and they came back and flowered the following year!

  2. Thats wonderful that your special pumpkin created new life in your garden! Hopefully you'll have some pumpkin offspring to decorate the porch this coming autumn!