So many pumpkins! As we entered the gardens at RHS Rosemoor in Devon last Friday our first stop was the trestle tables stacked long and high with pumpkins. Some I recognised, some made me laugh, some I’ve grown, some that looked ugly and all colours too, I mean just look:
How many did you recognise?
I’m sure the blue/grey one is a Crown Prince, and there’s definitely some onion or Red Kuri squash which I’ve grown in the past. The fact that these are the two I easily recognised shows which type of pumpkins I like. Both of these have dense sweet flesh, which is quite unlike the watery flesh of the pumpkins that are often carved for Halloween.
More recently I’ve outsourced my pumpkin growing (and potato growing for that matter) to dad often arriving with potatoes to be planted out or a packet of pumpkin seeds as part of a Christmas present. And then later in the year leaving with the fully grown crops, which works very well for me. I’m still hoping for some of these blue/grey pumpkins, although I think I could quite happily skip the longer gourd-like one in the photo below.
Further into the garden, in the greenhouse in the vegetable garden, there were yet more pumpkins. These decorating the shelves and ledges and looking just as fantastic here as they did at the garden’s entrance. We ate in the cafe, sharing a ploughman’s and a cream tea, mainly because we couldn’t decide whether to have lunch or tea and cake, and so did the next best thing and did both.
The cafe uses the produce grown in the garden, and I’ve a feeling that the next few months will involve a fair bit of pumpkin! Luckily it’s a versatile ingredient isn’t it? Although often it’ll become a soup with chilli (they had a few of those on the go too), I do keep meaning to be a little more adventurous and perhaps try some pumpkin scones, or pumpkin jam or curd.
I do have a Norfolk pumpkin (one grown by dad) to use but I’m not sure how just yet. My other favourite pumpkin meal is wedges roasted with chilli and garlic and served with brown rice and some homemade spiced ketchup. It’s a wholesome meal, but one that tastes oh so good too.
Before I go off to browse even more pumpkin recipes, there was one last one that made me smile at Rosemoor, and that’s this one.
It was the only one left clinging to the arched walkway, which had it not been wouldn’t have given a clue that they were grown here, and I’d have been none the wiser. This one though had wedged its way between the gaps, and the only way to shift it would be to cut the flesh.
That’s one wily pumpkin…