December 3, 2016

Fake a Front Yard Pumpkin Patch

My first fake front yard pumpkin patch was in 2013.
Here's the original blog post about how to do one yourself.

My life and my blog over the past three years since has
not been what I had hoped for due to family responsibilities.
Every year since, I have enjoyed having a faux pumpkin
patches in my front yard even if I have not been able to 
post pictures of them. I enjoy my "patches" and my neighbors
 do too. I found out that I am now "The Pumpkin Lady". 

So, as late as it is, here are pictures, tips and serendipities
 from my fake pumpkin patch 2016...

To me the difference between having pumpkins in your front
yard and having a fake pumpkin patch is that you attempt to
make the pumpkins look like they are actually still growing.

The way I accomplish this is with real plants and vines.

The plants that I can easily buy that look kinda like pumpkin
 vines to me is green sweet potato vines. Once they get 
established they "run" well and are easy to attach to the
tops of purchased pumpkins (some real, some fake) to give
the illusion that the pumpkins are still on the vine. 

Here are some small pumpkins that have long stems that 
have the vines attached to the tips of the stems.

Although mums have nothing to do with making pumpkins
 look like they are still growing in a patch, I was happy
 that some large mums I had purchased last year
 decided to come back this year.
The mums in the above photo had been total "goners". I had just cut them back to the ground.
This photo is before they bloomed out again this year. 

The mums just add some variety and color to the patches.
The ones in the photo below were purchased this year.
Some of the mums were put in inexpensive olive-type buckets from Wal-mart that
were painted to look older. The buckets added some height to the patch. 

The other end of this curved patch has a little bit different look.

The soil in this part of "island bed" is terrible so I just use
dead vines from the woods with the pumpkins. As leaves
in our area start to turn colors, I add some artificial leaves.

Actually I have two other areas in the front yard that I try
to make look like they are growing pumpkins too. 
You can see the location of the next patch in the top of the above photo.

Well one of those DID try to grow pumpkins this year.
Big pumpkin is from the grocery store. Little green pumpkin is on a real pumpkin vine. 

For several years I have dumped rotting pumpkins in this 
bed hoping that nature would give me some real pumpkins.

Look closely and you can see one of the seeds sprouting already. 

Most of the big pumpkins end up like this:

Last year I found this dumped small pie pumpkin
that looked almost like a pumpkin skeleton.
I thought it was interesting to see the little pumpkin seeds
inside of the skeleton shell. They are trying to sprout. 

All different kinds of pumpkins have been dumped there 
so I don't know which type it was that actually had a 
two vines come up this past Spring that lived. 

I tucked grocery store pumpkins under the vines.

The vines even started having flowers when the weather
cooled down some.

 That really helped the illusion that the
 orange pumpkins were still on their vine. 
Well sometimes I didn't do that good of a job of hiding the attachment of  the real pumpkin stem to the vine.

Can you see at the base of the flower a teeny tiny pumpkin?

The flowers whither almost the same day they bloom.

Unfortunately, the little pumpkins only got about this big...

...but aren't they so cute?!

The photo below is from the sidewalk pumpkin patch that
shows it early on. Sometimes folks ask me how I can afford
to buy so many pumpkins for the fake patches. Most of the 
real pumpkins come from the grocery store ($3-$5) so I just 
buy a pumpkin or two every time I go there. Not very painful.
 Most of the real pumpkins last at least a couple of months in the fake patches. 
When it is time to put out Christmas decorations I take the pumpkins that are still good to the food bank. 

Also I have bought fake pumpkins on sale over the years.
 Sometimes they have to be repainted because the sun has 
 bleached them out sitting outside in the Fall over the years.
For sure I have gotten my money's worth out of them. 

The third patch in the yard is small but probably the 
most closely viewed by passersby.  It is by the mailbox.

The pumpkins were almost overwhelmed by the foliage
this year. When the weather cools down the vines and
flowers get "a second wind" and start flourishing again. 

I try to make sure that each pumpkin stem has some type
of greenery or even a dried vine touching the end of the stem.

The photo below has nothing to do with pumpkin patches 
but I just want to share it. I was trying to photograph a butterfly
on the zinnas. My camera could not capture how fast his
wings were moving but it DID capture his shadow. 

The types of vines at the mailbox pumpkin patch are...

...Passion Vine...

...and Morning Glories.

They are my favorites because they all come back every year
with no effort on my part AND they don't need much water.

Each year I put a six foot garden pole for them to climb.
This year the morning glories would NOT stop growing.
I would chop off new growth that starting falling over
the height of the pole because I like the greenery on
 the pole to be rather neat and trim...not overgrown looking.

After a while I gave in and added another garden pole
for them to climb and they the tippy top. 

It wasn't easy to keep it straight because it was so tall.
I had to wire it onto the mailbox.

Into October I start adding some fake leaves to make
the vine tower look more Fall-ish. 

The front door area is not a pumpkin patch but here
is a quick look at it anyway. 

The real plants did not climb the metal obelisks in the urns
 this year so I had to add more fake stems than usual. 

I had a few packs of fake Chinese lantern pods bought
on clearance (who knows when). They got glued on to
real branches and arranged in the urn mix.

Well all the these Fall decorations are coming down this
weekend so I can get out my Christmas decorations.
Come back and visit to see what the front yard looks like then.

Pumpkins and wild vines were even used inside my house
this year for Fall decorations. Click here to see that post.


  1. LOVE the idea of the pumpkin patch, Gayle. The 'tower' of flowers by the mailbox is amazing. I can grow just about anything and I cannot grow morning glories! So weird. Love everything you did! Are you doing your big 'candy' display for the holidays this year? xo Diana

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