Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Zen pumpkins

This is a small section of the potager (kitchen garden) at Villandry. The pumpkins were either grown elsewhere, or the plants have been pulled up. Either way, the fruit has been artfully arranged on raked beds. Very zen. Notice the beautiful artichoke plants (or are they cardoons?) in the upper left.

I've grown pumpkins like these, but not as many.

This is the last of the photos from our one day visit to Azay-le-Rideau and Villandry back in October. Thanks go to my friend Christine for a great day!


  1. Thanks for taking me back to one of my favorite gardens, Walt.

  2. Walt, thanks to you! I had wanted to go to these chateaux for years. Seeing them through your lens, again, is a very special treat.

  3. I think they're cardoons. You eat the leaf stalk, and there's plenty of that on view. I also think they've been blanched - you tie newspaper or cardboard tightly all around the base of the plant, so the leaf stalks can't see daylight. That makes them stretch out for the light and you get more stalk. They have beautiful flowers like giant thistles which the bees love. We've grown them but never tried eating them - they just look so fantastic. And I love the japanese-style raked gravel between the pumpkins too. You obviously had a wonderful day, and perfect for photography.

    By the way, when we went there was produce for sale in the building next to the herb garden, tho not much left by the time we got there.

  4. The pumpkins were grown in those beds. Once the leaves die they pull up the plants but replace the pumpkins so they look decorative. They are sitting on terracotta tiles to protect them from the damp earth.

  5. Those pumpkins are gorgeous! So festive and colorful.

  6. Wow. Looks just like the kitchen garden I used to have (in my dreams).

  7. european (?) pumpkins look more 'cinderella' like than those grown on North America.

  8. bettyann, you're welcome!

    christine, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I had a great time seeing them again after many years.

    pauline, I wondered. I've never eaten cardoons, but I like artichokes a lot. We have a couple of plants in the garden, and we let them flower, too, rather than try to eat them.

    susan, good to know. I did notice the tiles; very smart.

    chris, another satisfied customer! LOL

    betty, and I'm sure they're delicious!

    mitch, I know what you mean.

    michael, they're for eating, not carving for decoration. Carving pumpkins are bred to be easy to empty and carve, I believe.


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