Strange new things are emerging in the Culpeper Garden at Leeds Castle just in time for Halloween with a colourful and enchanting display of pumpkins.
The gardening team has cleverly recycled the trellises from the summer's sweet peas to produce an autumnal garden with hanging pumpkins and trailing vines along the soil. Pumpkins come in a multitude of colours, shapes and sizes. On display in our pumpkin bed are Crown Prince, Snowman and Munchkin.
David Hayfield from the gardening team, who created the charming pumpkin patch, gives us his top tips on growing your own pumpkins:
1. The Jack of all Trades is the perfect variety for carving into a jack-o'-lantern as it is a big and bright orange. Try mixing it up a bit and creating a completely different effect by using the Crown Prince variety, which is a beautiful duck egg blue, or the Snowman variety, which comes in an enchanting white.
2. Pumpkins can grow in any soil – the Leeds Castle soil is loamy (composed of sand, silt and some clay).
3. Pumpkins enjoy a sunny spot - our bed in the Culpeper Garden is a south facing sheltered spot.
4. Sow in pots from April to June or sow direct from late May to early Summer spacing them two metres apart.
5. When the stem browns and the skin becomes tough you know the pumpkins are ready to be harvested.
6. Ensure you cut the pumpkins off at the stem before the first frost.
7. Pumpkins can be stored for up to six months.
If you’re visiting Leeds Castle during Half Term then make sure you look out for our pumpkin patch and for the many spookily carved pumpkins hidden around the Culpeper Garden.