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A Purpose for Every Pumpkin in the Patch

The pumpkin is one of the most visible signs of Fall’s arrival, making it an ideal element in fall landscape décor. Harvested in October when they reach their brightest orange, pumpkins have been grown in North America for over five thousand years.

Jack-O-Lanterns originating with an Irish folktale Jack of the lantern, were originally carved from turnips and potatoes. When Irish immigrants discovered pumpkins in America a lasting Halloween tradition was born. Over the years crude carvings of creepy countenance have given way to elaborate designs featuring portraits and pets.

Decorating with pumpkins does not necessarily require sharp objects. Many fall displays feature pumpkins and gourds that have not gone under the knife arranged with other natural material and container plantings. One benefit of this approach is that your pumpkins will last much longer – not to mention the mess of removing the seeds!

My favorite approach however achieves the best of both worlds. Painting designs on your produce will achieve the festive look you like and keep your pumpkins looking good much longer. This can be as simple as drawing a traditional Jack-O-lantern face with permanent markers, though I tend to take it a little further.

Finding a purpose for every pumpkin in the patch is what we do. In recent years I’ve had the honor of creating pumpkins with a variety of themes to brighten the lives of patients at Mercy Children’s Hospital. The theme we worked on this year is Avengers including Captain America, Spiderman, Captain Marvel, Superman, and the Hulk. Though not an actual Avenger, I added a Batman for good measure. I use spray paint and acrylics to transform our favorite fall fruit into heroes and other kid-friendly characters. I hope you will be inspired by the photos below. You can find many more ideas and even patterns online. So, dip a pumpkin-spice Oreo in your pumpkin-spice latte and get creative with pumpkins – great and small!