Pumpkin Destiny

I have a couple of pumpkin plants. Not Aussie pumpkins, anonymous pumpkin plants my friend Elizabeth was given. The other day, while they were sunbathing, Teddy ate the leaves.

Where I live, pumpkins don’t have much chance for a full life, full in the sense of complete, not rich with experiences. We cannot safely plant anything outside until June 1 and we can have a heavy frost in early September. But, these guys are already on their way so maybe they’ll make it. They’ve already shown the indomitable spirit of pumpkins. In spite of having been maimed and, in one case, de-potted they stick their mangled solar collectors into the light as if no rapacious Australian shepherd had chomped them into tiny broken umbrellas.

Everywhere I’ve lived — until moving here to Heaven — it was illegal to plant a vegetable garden in the front yard of one’s house. I always wondered WHO enforced that law and WHY, but I suspect it was enforced by hostile neighbors and was related to the reality that veggies are often fertilized by manure which (to some people) stinks. Also, vegetable gardens are clearly functional and not necessarily aesthetic, but seriously. A plant is a plant and a plant that provides food should be a high-priority plant.

I remember reading articles about this, including one about a woman who had an amazing (and aesthetically beautiful) vegetable garden in her front yard. She resisted law enforcement which ultimately gave her no quarter and came with a little tractor and tore out her garden.

Taking the pumpkins out to the front yard (instead of the backyard and the avaricious maw of Teddy Bear T. Dog) for their daily sunbath yesterday I thought, “I wonder if there’s a stupid law like that here?” I did get a warning last year for an egregious branch from a noxious elm tree that was intruding on the egress and ingress of my neighbors through the alley. There is a certain amount of herbage enforcement in this small farming town.

SO…I posted on Facebook asking for an answer for that question. Looks like I can plant my pumpkins in the front yard. What’s more, my neighbors think the question, “Does Monte Vista have a law against planting vegetables in the front yard?” borders on the absurd, like, “Are you kidding?”

One of my friends — who lives halfway between my house and the Refuge — gave me a line of laughing yellow heads and said I could plant them on her farm if I came out and took care of them.

I am so glad I live here.


23 thoughts on “Pumpkin Destiny

  1. It’s unfortunate that grass seems to be the dominant prized yard in suburbia. I am in the process of integrating a wildflower mix into my front yard. I’m hoping it will take hold in a couple of years. It is meant to lower the amount of watering and mowing needed. The lovely little old lady across the street was taken aback when I said, to her question/statement, “You’re doing this in the backyard?”… no the front yard. I’ve never been very successful with pumpkins. I wish yours well!

    • Thank you. I love growing pumpkins but I have no use for them. They’re just inspiring in a way. I still have “Hope” the Aussie pumpkin from last year here on my table where I can see her. If these guys grow, I’ll give them away.

      In the last few years, wild asters have “invaded” my front yard. They’re pretty and drought resistant. I’m not fighting them.

  2. I grew up on a farm where the scent of manure was typical. When I was married, my husband would complain about the smell when we drove past a farmer’s field. I told him I liked the smell. It reminded me of home.

    • I like the smell, too. It reminds me of reality, somehow. I watched a farmer and his kids spread their horse manure in a small field the other day. The farmer had made a cool little “track” for his kids to drive their small tractors through and had turned the whole thing into a race or rodeo (not sure). They were having a blast and that stuff was getting well distributed.

  3. We have put sheds last year and the neighbour objected so we moved the summerhouse along the back fence a bit. Now I don’t use it much! It’s become a dumping ground for train magazines and spiders. I need to get out and clear it out! Keep gardening! (our garden is along the side of our house)…

  4. I had new neighbors move next door about two years ago. After redoing the entire house both inside and out (backyard neighbor drove over and yelled out, “When the hell does this end!!?”), they enclosed their yard with a privacy fence. I peeked through one of their precious little wood slats. The back yard is perfect and manicured within an inch of its life. I could never live with a yard like that.

  5. The biggest issue I see with a front yard garden is that people walking past might pick and eat stuff. I have a neighbor with front yard strawberries and I wonder how many she actually gets to pick. Talking with someone about it the other day, they said of course they would pick and eat a luscious-looking strawberry they could reach from the sidewalk. Pumpkins and other squash are probably safer.

  6. So apparently pumpkin leaves taste good! Who knew 🙂 An interesting experiment for the front yard – maybe a jack o’ lantern face would jazz it up if anyone complained. “Herbage enforcement” – what a hoot.

  7. In a near by neighborhood one house has a rhubarb hedge. The front of the house has a brick planter that is part of the porch and the whole thing is rhubarb that comes up every year – it is beautiful and tasty! Another house down the street has fancy kale and Swiss chard as a border in front of their shrubs in the front. I say go for it!

  8. Your community’s response to your inquiry about front yard gardens reminds me of moving to rural/remote Idaho from Seattle. I went to the district Forest Service office to inquire whether my dogs could be off-leash in the forest. Where I’d come from, dogs had to be leashed almost everywhere. I got this puzzled look and a long pause before the answer: there are no leash laws on the forest. Score!

Comments are closed.