All About the Dallas Arboretum’s Pumpkins, Squash, and Gourds
With over 40 pumpkins, gourds, and squash at the Dallas Arboretum for Autumn at the Arboretum, presented by Rogers-O’Brien Construction, there are so many unique sets to see! The theme for this year’s Autumn at the Arboretum is, “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown™” and our horticulture staff has been hard at work making one of the best pumpkin villages ever. Plus, Martha Stewart Living Magazine named it, “One of the best pumpkin festivals to visit this fall.”
This may surprise you but pumpkins, gourds, and squash come in many different unique types. This gives us the opportunity to use these special shapes and colors to design an incredible 3D mosaic! This year’s gorgeous mosaic depicts the iconic Peanuts Gang- this includes things such as Lucy at her “Gardening advice” booth and Snoopy and Woodstock atop his dog house. When you visit Autumn at the Arboretum from September 21st through October 31st, you will get the chance to go on a free scavenger hunt for all 40+ types of pumpkins, gourds, and squash. Furthermore, when you find all the pumpkins between 10a-3p you can get a ticket at the information booth and take it to the Terrace Café for a free Charlie Brownie. Let’s take a look at some of the pumpkins, squash, and gourds that bring this breathtaking Pumpkin Village to life.
Apple Gourd: This gourd looks just like a zebra apple with about the same size and shape. They are one of the slowest maturing gourds with up to a 120 days until maturity. They can also require a long drying period, up to 6 months- taking this gourd almost a whole year to be finished and prepped!
Birdhouse Gourd: This is a fun gourd that has a hard outer shell and is mainly used for crafts. It is shaped a little like a bottle and it is very popular to cut a hole in it and leave it out for birds to nest in. This gourd can help you more than you think. First, the flowers attract beneficial insects to your yard. Then after you create the birdhouse, the birds will eat bug pests in your garden. It’s a win-win for everyone involved when you plant and create a birdhouse gourd!
Mini White Baby Boo Pumpkin: This little pumpkin grows to about the size of your hand. It gets its name from its color which is white like a ghost. The Baby Boo Pumpkin is also great to eat, but make sure you harvest them before maturity, because it can turn an odd pale yellow when fully ripe.
Cinderella Pumpkin: It doesn’t take a small village of helpful mice to find out why this pumpkin is named the Cinderella Pumpkin! This is the pumpkin that looked exactly like the one from Cinderella. One unique thing about this pumpkin is it is one of the brightest, glowing oranges of all the pumpkins- almost as if someone turned up the contrast on its color. One fun fact is that this also means it’s great for cooking because it is sweet and has an abundance of anti-oxidant beta-carotene.
Peanut Pumpkin: The peanut pumpkin is a fun light pink hued pumpkin that is covered in distinctive peanut looking shapes covering its exterior. These peanut shapes are actually buildups of sugar, which makes this pumpkin great for cheesecakes, pies, and bread!
Carnival Squash: This interesting squash is covered in orange and green stripes, almost like most carnival tents are red and white. It is sweeter than most with a nutty flavor, yet it isn’t as dry as other nutty flavored squash.
Now it’s time for you to get cooking and crafting! Whether you are using the Apple Gourd to make a unique table decoration, cooking with the super sweet Peanut Pumpkin, or crafting a beautiful birdhouse out of the Birdhouse Gourd- we hope we can inspire you here at the Dallas Arboretum to enjoy nature and all it has to offer.
Be sure to tag us @thedallasarboretum if you decide to make anything and we may feature you on our Instagram or Facebook story!