This summer I planted carrots, orange regular ones called Minicor and purple ones, called interestingly, Purple Haze. I had purchased two rectangular planter boxes that were 12 inches deep thinking that the reason my carrots had been so small last year was because the planter box was too shallow. That delusion dealt with, I put in homemade soil, as in compost and leaf mold and anything else that came to hand and planted the seeds. I didn't get great results. I think I should have added sand and used worm pee more often in the water. The carrots were about 3 inches long. I expected the orange ones to be about 5 inches and the purple ones to be about 10 inches. We did get a handful of carrots in total but, still, no rabbits were knocking on my door asking for the extras.
About mid-way through the summer, this rather fantastic leaf turned up in three places. One was in a 5 gallon icecream container I had attempted potatoes in, one was alongside a tomato plant and the third was in the Purple Haze container. At first I thought it was Colt's Foot, a generally benign weed that is good for dying things a goldy-orange and I thought I would collect it up and do some dying.
That never happened and the leaf in each pot branched out into a bunch of leaves and after a while I realized I had a vine in each container. Then these rather great bright orange flowers came out. Huge hibiscus like flowers that were a lovely splurp of colour in a dreary July. So I left them some more and round about the end of August I asked my son's girlfriend, Natasha “What do you think those are?” Natasha is a gal from PEI and a potato farm of huge acreage, so she should know. “I think that's a pumpkin.” “Really! I don't remember planting pumpkins. I did buy a package of minis but never found a place to plant them.” “Ayup,” she said, “Pretty sure those are pumpkins. Odd spots you chose.”
Well she was right about the odd spots but not that I chose to participate in this mad attempt of pumpkins to take over the veggie plot. Did they think they were zuchini? If so, they had erred. They had landed themselves in a spot under a forsythia bush were I had hidden the potato failure, alongside a tomato that had taken a beating in the two hurricanes of July and had been shoved to the back of the herd and this odd one that was growing along the edge of the carrot container.
Here we were, 4 adults squatting down along the edge of the veggie patch, which is located at the edge of the garbage, recyling and gate, all looking at two of the vines. We were searching for evidence of a pumpkin. Lots of flowers had come and gone but nothing had fertilized so there was still some low grumblings that maybe it wasn't a pumpkin plant but rather wild gourds. I don't know who made that comment. They should blush.
A few weeks later I was doing the fall clean up and neatly clipped off the bottom leafs of all tomato plants in a rather futile attempt to get the green fruits to go red. I hauled all the planter boxes out of the area and over to the compost area to be dumped and stirred and to add some fabulous worm pee and while doing all that, I found this.
A pumpkin. And not just any pumpkin, one with a rather grand impression of itself. It set itself on this small pedestal with no human intervention. Now that is a pumpkin with attitude.
It is September 27th and I have my doubts this dude is going to ripen to a bright orange but who am I to knock down hubris (unless it's Steve running amok with himself) so we'll leave it for as long as possible and see what it gets up to.