Evening sun through maple by Mary Higgins

Accidental pumpkins: how to abhor your vacuum

Evening sun through maple by Mary Higgins

I love my garden, or yard, as they say in these parts. I hunger for an acreage, but until that happens I do love to potter and tend to our little patch. We made a new raised bed in the summer, dumped the contents of two composters in there, and planted some snow peas. The compost wasn’t completely cooked, but we’re not too fussy and seeds tend not to be, either. We have had the driest summer since records began, and watering became a twice-daily duty, waiting for the first sprouts.

The first thing to sprout were dandelions, a constant in our garden, but easily dealt with when little. And then came some rather different, bigger sprouts. I checked them out and thought they looked a little familiar, but let them grow more so I could be sure. After a couple of weeks there was no doubt. We had managed to grow pumpkins from an out-of-date bag of supposedly roasted pumpkin seeds. Nice! Pumpkins are hilarious to grow and every day is a new adventure wondering what part of the garden they are going to take over.

Accidental pumpkin sprouts
Accidental pumpkins 18th July 2012

The snow peas struggled against the heat and drought, but the pumpkins flourished despite being overcrowded and hemmed-in. They just wouldn’t stop.

Accidental pumpkins growing fast
Accidental pumpkins Aug 9th 2012

No matter how much we neglected them, they carried on growing.

Accidental pumpkins taking over
Accidental pumpkins August 24th 2012

Not only did they keep growing, they started to flower.

Accidental pumpkins flowering
Accidental pumpkins September 2nd 2012

And they they kept on growing, and flowering, until…

Accidental pumpkins against all odds
Accidental pumpkins October 7th 2012

..we had five real pumpkins that looked like they might have enough time to ripen, despite their late and unorthodox start. So it looks like we will be able to carve (and eat) our own pumpkins for Halloween this year.

Accidental pumpkins ripening
Accidental pumpkins October 16th 2012

Now would be a great time for me to tell you that as the pumpkins grew and ripened, so did my resolve to complete the tasks I have set myself. That my will, and my desire to grow are as strong as my accidental pumpkins. To be honest, it’s more like this:

Accidental pumpkins ready to break through

Tied up, bound, but still trying.

And that’s the point, right?

Because if I give up, I know these accidental pumpkins will haunt me forever.

And no one wants that. Do they, Linus?

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