The great pumpkin shortage is over! According to reliable sources, the pumpkin panic of '09 is history. Indeed there seems to be a plethora of pumpkins this year, much to the delight of connoisseurs of cucurbits everywhere. No more hoarding or stockpiling the Libby's is necessary.
This is good news for gardeners too; as our gardens mellow and fade with the season, pumpkins and squash piled artfully in the garden give one last hurrah before winter.
Recently I had the chance to visit some spectacular gardens, both private and public in Dallas. We were told that the slogan there is "Live large, think big", and nowhere is it more evident than the autumn displays at the Dallas Arboretum where 20,000 pumpkins are used to great effect to show that the south can do autumn splendor with the best of them.
Yet it doesn't take a gazillion gourds to decorate our own gardens. As always, I think you behold the big idea and scale it down to fit your particular site. Consider these grand examples and then translate the take-home message to your own little patch.
A benefit of last year's pumpkin shortage was that I found the inspiration to roast small sugar pumpkins that were available for making soup and re-discovered the pleasing taste of fresh pumpkin.