My Aussie Pumpkin, Faith

People garden for a lot of reasons. I can’t answer for anyone else, but I mostly garden out of habit (and homegrown tomatoes). It seems like every year, though, something really amazing — miraculous, even — happens in my garden that I could never have planned or hoped for.

Last year it was my Scarlet Emperor beans that I grew from “expired” seeds. They grew to be well over 10 feet tall and gave me lots of beautiful beans that I planted this year. This year they didn’t have much of a chance because of the late spring, but they’re trying. They are about 18 inches and blooming well, but I don’t know if any beans will come from the beautiful flowers.

Scarlet Emperor Beans with Faith in the background

This year my garden has a different inspiring plant — Faith, my Aussie pumpkin. I had seeds from my neighbor, an Australian who brought seeds back with her from a family visit two years ago. Last summer she grew pumpkins and we ate some for Thanksgiving. I started them inside but they just rotted. I learned then than the pumpkins she’d grown hadn’t had time to fully mature so I figured the seeds hadn’t, either. Still, when the weather finally stopped going down to freezing, I stuck a couple into the ground. After a VERY LONG incubation period, one came up in the beginning of July.

“You’ll never make it,” I told her all the while hoping she would. She has grown into the most beautiful plant in my garden this year. About two weeks ago she started blooming — all male blossoms. I thought, “Well, that’s OK. I have an ornamental pumpkin.” But, yesterday, I saw she had two girls. This morning I found two more. I also observed that the bees have finally noticed the plant.

And THEN three amaryllis plants, desiccated bulbs in cramped pots, ALL of them have leafed and ONE of them is about to bloom.

Summaryllis with some of the pumpkin bachelors in the background

Maybe the REAL reason I garden every year is that I never know what’s going to happen. I end up LOVING my garden and being inspired by it.

“He even said that the Brother Gardener ought to reserve a place for a beautiful small garden where he would put all kinds of aromatic herbs and flowering plants so that in their season they might invite all men who looked at them to praise God for every creature says and proclaims, “God has created me for you, O Man.” St. Francis, from the herb garden of the Mission Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara California.

12 thoughts on “My Aussie Pumpkin, Faith

    • Definitely — especially after a weird cold spring like we had. I still planted but I had no “hope” — but my plants had hope, they knew their job and they did it. They didn’t say, “Oh poor us we only get 2 1/2 months if we’re lucky. Why bother.” There’s a big lesson in that for me and I needed it this year. ❤

  1. Well done for your garden this year, Martha. I wish I could say I love gardening too but I’m useless. And we don’t have soil, we have solid clay. Strangely, the only thing we ever had any success with was pumpkins, and we had a few very promising looking ones – until the squirrels ate them and we were left with bare stalks. I’m sure yours will fare much better. 🙂

  2. I love that your garden surprises are more like friends than plants. Made me smile. don’t know how to recognize a male or female pumpkin blossum. I don’t have any pumpkins this year, but maybe next year I’ll have to and then I can figure that out.

    • Oh the females have little round pumpkin possibilities at the base. You can see them in the photos. The males (as one would expect) stand upright on longs stems. And…my most abiding friend is nature and that includes my garden. ❤

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