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      Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.

      Showing posts with label pumpkins. Show all posts
      Showing posts with label pumpkins. Show all posts

      Monday, October 11, 2010


      By the end of September, my central feature was looking bedraggled and in need of a color punch to ride out the season. I bought a few pumpkins and prepared to 'plant' them in the empty spaces. Invariably when I work on the roof garden, whatever kids are playing there offer to help. I use this time for surreptitious garden teaching. While I wire some miniatures to dangle from the chair back, these twins find the perfect way to display some others.image © B.B. Platt
      I was inspired by the pumpkin house in the annual display at the Dallas Arboretum but thought I didn't need a complete structure because buildings surround our roof. In the Dallas Arburetum just by lining a path, they acheive a magical transformation of an annual garden.Back in the city, I make another still life of pumpkins, sunflower seed heads and stuff, inspired by the black-leafed Loropetalum I brought home from a conference. I know it won't winter over in this Zone, so why not have fun with it? In this garden, I don't expect small hands to re-do my masterpiece.image © Alan & Linda Detrick, all rights reserved

      The New York City Mayor shouldn't have to worry about the pumpkins in front of his home, with the security cameras focused on them and police presence as well.
      See pumpkin fun at the New York Botanical Garden and the Queens Botanical Garden.

      Thursday, October 22, 2009


      Where to go for pumpkin fun from now until Halloween?
      Visit the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center at the Northern edge of Central Park, 110th between 5th & Lennox for their Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Sail. Kids bring their carved Jack-O'Lanterns, the volunteers add lit candles and float them out on the lake on individual wooden shingle rafts. If there's a nice breeze, they sail across they lake in a blaze of glory. Sunday. Oct. 25th 3-6PM.
      Below, ready to travel across the Harlem Meer.The Queens County Farm Museum offers a pumpkin patch and corn maze every Saturday and Sunday through Nov. 1. Kids see how pumpkins grow and can buy their favorite, some trucked in. This working farm established in 1697 on 47 acres is now within New York City Limits . The NY Times of 10/19/09 reported on school trips to the Farm Museum and quoted one kindergartner who discovered that "pumpkins have seeds inside them".

      Travel a little farther up river to Croton-on Hudson to see over four thousand carved pumpkins decorating the grounds of Van Cortlandt Manor at the annual Great Jack'OLantern Pumpkin Blaze. Spiders, dinosaurs, fish, snakes ghosts and a pumpkin construction of Henry Hudson's ship, the Blue Moon are some of the imaginative carvings.

      Below, the head of a snake.
      You must purchase advance tickets and the last day is Nov.1.

      Below, a butterfly in two halves, from the Blaze.

      I filled in bare spots in
      my four tree wells
      last year with 16 small
      pumpkins. Eight
      were still in place
      six weeks later.

      Below, New York's Mayor
      doesn't have to worry
      about his pumpkins,
      because police patrol
      the front of his home
      on E. 79th St. 24/7.

      I wish Grand Central Station still had it's Pumpkin Fest, last seen two years ago, when they exhibited giant Jack-O'Lanterns and scary giant puppets. The biggest pumpkin I saw this year was displayed at the Topsfield MA Fair, weighing in at 1471.6 lbs. grown by Bill Rodonis of NH. My favorite pumpkin is the heirloom variety 'Rouge vif d'Etamps' here grown by Jen in Canterbury NH, ready to turn into a coach for Cinderella or a savory pie, or to decorate a low stone wall.Fall decorations in my apartment include 'Jack Be Little' miniature pumpkins, dried seed heads of Sedum, pine cones, pomegranates, and an assortment of other pods. Pomanders made of Clementines with whole cloves stuck in add color and aroma to the collection. They're a great project for little kids who can't wield a knife to make a Halloween face.

      Saturday, October 18, 2008

      Summer Annuals or Mums?

      I take care of four tree pits in front of my building (as well as the roof top) and change the plantings as seasons and my mood strikes. Other Ellen hates to rip out summer annuals that haven't met their fated frost date and so do I (See her post of 10/14/08) yet I keep hoping to have an opportunity to plant mums, or purple-tinged kale that will shine until mid winter. The coleus just refuse to exit gracefully. If an annual has contributed loyally to a garden for 4 1/2 months, hasn't it earned it's right to remain?
      My solution: in mid October pull out anything that looks disreputable and fill the spaces with pumpkins. If not interfered with they'll add color through January snows when they start to rot and must be discarded. This year, I bought nine smallish pumpkins to fill the bare spots. As I set them in place a passer-by stopped to ask if I was the Pumpkin Fairy? I've been called worse in my day.
      Will they get smashed or stolen? Stay tuned for city street updates.

      Last year in January, 3/4 of the
      pumpkins remained and looked quite intriguing with the berries and boughs 'planted' in late November. Look hard; two pumpkins are
      partially buried under the snow.
      Double click on the image to enlarge it.

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