So What Do You Do With A Pumpkin?

pumpkins at Detroit Garden WorksRob has made 3 epic pumpkin and gourd buying trips in the past 3 weeks. Epic, as in 8 hour trips to pumpkin hybridizers within 80 miles or so in every direction of our shop. Epic, as in the relationships he has cultivated with growers who specialize in these fall fruits. I am sure the gross vehicle weight of the Sprinter loaded with pumpkins and gourds is equally epic. His vetting of pumpkins and gourds one could describe as rigorous. The pumpkins have to stand up on their own. They have to have long and beautifully shaped stems fresh from the picking. Many of those long stems are integral to the pumpkin body. They have great shapes. Unusual surfaces. Incredible color. Who knew there were  black or pale yellow or blue pumpkins? Considerable is the education I have had about pumpkins and gourds in recent years. They have colorful and descriptive names. Long Island Cheese. Knucklehead. Porcelain Doll. Many of them have already gone to gardening homes. Many more will snapped up this week, in advance of Halloween and in anticipation of Thanksgiving.

pumpkins at Detroit Garden WorksA  gardening customer came in today, her husband in tow. She and Sunne launched into a discussion about something or another. Her husband found a place to sit on a bench outdoors. Milo and I joined him.  Only moments later he asked me, so what do you do with these pumpkins? Hilarious, this. I burst out laughing. Indeed, what does one do with a pumpkin? To follow are my answers. As for the above picture, I would contrast a green and a white pumpkin, and shower them with green eucalyptus and some yellow fall leaves conveniently shed by a nearby linden tree.

Detroit Garden Works stand up for fall

Detroit Garden Works fill a wood box

Detroit Garden Worksmake a scene

Detroit Garden Worksplant a vintage bushel basket with a single grand white pumpkin, and face it down with white ornamental cabbage.

Detroit Garden Workshang it up

Detroit Garden Worksincorporate them into a fall container.

Detroit Garden Works go for the green

Detroit Garden Workscelebrate the season

Detroit Garden Workspile them up

fall-window-boxadd them to a fall themed window box

Detroit Garden Worksset the table

Detroit Garden WorksLine them out

Detroit Garden Worksfill the air space

Detroit Garden Worksspread them out

pumpkins-and-gourds-2013-38select a favorite

Detroit Garden Worksstack them up

Detroit Garden Worksbrighten up a dark spot

Halloween pumpkincarve them, of course

Detroit Garden Worksarrange them by color and texture

Detroit Garden Workscrate them

fall container arrangementgo for gourds

Detroit Garden Worksplump up a bench

Detroit Garden Workssort by size and color

Detroit Garden Worksload up a cart

Detroit Garden Worksset them on their sides

fall container with pumpkinsmake a statement

Detroit Garden Worksdress up an urn

Detroit Garden Workswarm up a porch

Detroit Garden WorksDoes this help?















  1. Amazingly Beautiful!

  2. JoyceBinAtlanta says

    This is nearly poetic! My favorite idea is piling them on the bench near the front door. We have only ho-hum pumpkins in my area, but I bought some weird plastic gourds to intermingle and create interest in my display.

  3. Sheryl Kammer says

    Amazingly fun!

  4. Great pumpkin ideas!

  5. I love your homage to the pumpkin and gourd! Fall is my favorite time of year and, if my neighbors would let me, I would decorate my whole block for the season. Happy Halloween!

  6. At the song, “What Shall We Do With a Drunken Sailor” came to mind. You’ve created an incredible number of autumn vignettes with these versatile fruits. I love them all and always look forward to visiting our nearby pumpkin patches to find both traditional and new and unusual varieties to play with. Your creative well runs deep and I always appreciate your creations. Thanks for the inspiration to reach further!

  7. If I were to see “Stand up for Fall” on the cover of a book, I’d buy it! No matter what was inside.
    Each image is a beautiful work of art!

  8. Cathy Peterson says

    Love it. . . homage to fall. . . .my favorite season!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Cathy, the fall is unbelievably beautiful. I enjoy it too. Crisp and colorful-what is not to like? best, Deborah

  9. Susan Zinger says


  10. When is your book coming out????
    Your words and images–and fabulous designs—are so worthy!!!

  11. One can never have too many pumpkins and/or gourds! Your selection is outstanding. Next year’s plan is to visit in person. Thanks for sharing!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Melody, it would be our pleasure if you could visit. Let me know when you plan to come. all the best, Deborah

  12. ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS DESIGN IDEAS – thank u sooo much for sharing.

    Sincerely, deb
    (Sanger, California)

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Deb, there are no end of things a gardener might do with a collection of pumpkins and gourds. They are a the star of the fall season. best, Deborah

  13. That’s was such a visual treat! The fall container is to die for.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Nella, Rob’s pumpkins are so sculptural, it is hard to take a bad picture. We just pile them up, stand back, and admire. It doesn’t take much to make me happy! all the best, Deborah

  14. Abigail Fasanella says

    Great shots! Every one is perfection!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Abigail, we have an obsession with fall-we can’t help it. Fall is such a beautiful season in Michigan. thanks for writing, Deborah

  15. Beautiful pictures and inspiring ideas! I arranged our family’s pumpkins in our yard and now the squirrels have left their marks. Do you take steps to keep animals away from your pumpkin arrangements?

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Kristen, google the topic-protecting pumpkins from squirrels. There are lots of remedies. I use Bonide animal repellant. all the best, Deborah

  16. So clever and such fun You had me smiling! Happy Fall

  17. Christie Peck says

    Kudos to you and Rob! One of your most creative posts ever. Worthy of a magazine article, for sure!

  18. Jennifer Taylor says

    Oh my gosh! What a glorious tribute to the season. Just magnificent. Your Rob is a treasure too.

    Thanks for sharing this incredible bounty!

  19. What’s not to like about Halloween! The decor, the cool crisp days and cooler nights, leaves falling, and trees taking on their winter look. Can’t wait for the costume clad children to arrive in high spirit. The decor adds to the festivity.

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