We are keen on Halloween in our family, and a packet of pumpkin seeds brought excitedly last winter had been waiting eagerly in a drawer. Eventually, spring arrived – ideal for planting. My back garden is small and a friend advised me that the greenery trails everywhere, so I lugged a compost sack onto a side terrace.

My four-year-old grandson and I started pressing the flat white pips in the soil. “They might not grow,” I explained becoming worried that he might be sad if they didn’t.

He smiled and carried on sprinkling with his lime green watering can. “Not to worry, Nanna.” And in a couple of weeks, tender sprouts poked through to our delight.

Since then, a lot has happened. Galivanting in Tuscany, for a start. And on return, amazed at how big the plants had grown, but also tinged with disappointment because some had been nibbled. Slugs. Drat! Luckily, we had arrived back in time to save our precious crop.

Covid hit our household and after a few days of being poorly, it was uplifting when drawing back the curtains to see large bright yellow tropical-type flowers smiling and waving good morning.

Mr Word Loft googled and discovered there are male and female blooms. Who would have guessed? They are easily identified, and just in case the bees buzzing around them haven’t intermingled properly, we use a soft paintbrush to help pollinate.

It must be the tiniest pumpkin patch in the world, but every day it flourishes. Now several green baby pumpkins are hiding under the broad leaves, with curly tendrils winding around them.

Regrettably, a couple shrivelled to nothing. “Perhaps they became too hot with heat radiating from the paving slabs,” I said, layering hay underneath the healthy ones.

Let’s hope that sorts the problem out, and that some will survive to be harvested in autumn for Halloween.

I’ll keep you updated on their progress.

Until next time,
Sue. X

PS. The title has been borrowed from a quote by T.E. Lawrence in his story, Lawrence of Arabia.