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A cornucopia of pumpkins squash and gourds

Pumpkins, gourds and squash – oh my!

Visitors to the Gardens have been delighted by the literal cornucopia of autumnal delights that have recently appeared.

Pumpkins and gourds are linked to autumn, partly because they are in season, but also because of Halloween. Growers will harvest their crops at the end of summer or beginning of autumn, although some varieties have thick skins and can be kept well into winter.

They are all members of the Curcurbitaceae family, which includes over 900 species of squash and gourds, as well as cucumbers and melons.

Pumpkins include some of the oldest domesticated plants, and fragments have been found in archaeological sites dated from 7000 to 5500 BC in Mexico.

You will be able to see our display until just after Halloween, but what are the different types of pumpkins, squash and gourds can you see?

The varieties harvested from in the large beds beneath the olive trees include:

  • Queensland blue
  • Japanese black futsu
  • Thelma Sanders “sweet potato”
  • Turk’s turban
  • Victor “winter squash”
  • Pacific giant
  • Rouge vif D’etampes
  • Anna Swartz hubbard
  • Munchkin

Harvested from the beautiful gourd arch are:

  • Bottle gourds
  • Crown of thorns
  • Swan gourds
  • Dinosaur gourds
  • Snake gourds
  • Bi-Colour gourd

See the display between the Café and Conservatory.