Decorating pumpkin patch pumpkins in an unorthodox way–
Unique and fun gift for aging parents and elders.
Click photos to Enlarge
When I lived near this farm stand I’d take pumpkins home and decorate–not carve–them on the kitchen counter….gifts for elderly friends at Halloween. However when we moved to the City, transporting them became a logistical challenge because cars in the City are basically an expensive nuisance. Thus, our car is in a garage in the suburbs. Last week I took the commuter train to the suburbs, got our car, then purchased the pumpkin, flowers etc. without knowing where I would assemble everything.
Decorating in the car would be a last resort, as there’s no electrical outlet for the glue gun. Decision: this year’s pumpkin–only one–would not require a glue gun, only the skewers to poke the holes. I forgot it last year and ended up using a fondue fork. It works too.
This 2014 non-messy project began at the farm stand, where I selected an easily-portable pumpkin with a curved stem that had strings dangling from it. At Trader Joe’s I bought the $3.99 bouquet special, then went in search of some ornaments.
I’ve used small scarecrows in the past, but couldn’t find any this year. The best I could do was purchase a head band with black feathers and pumpkins quivering on a spring ($2.99). That was a bit of a splurge for me, but what the heck! A dollar store was too far away.
I’ve learned to phone to double-check that it’s still convenient for me to bring a pumpkin to an elderly person–things can easily change as we know. The 96-yearr-old man’s caregiver said to come on over and decorate the pumpkin in the kitchen, which I (we) did.
The finished 2014 whimsey pumpkin above: We inserted an orangish chrysanthemum to look like a tooth was missing in the smile and added the purple mums for cheeks or ears.
Alternative to a fresh pumpkin: purchase ceramic or paper mache pumpkins with open tops or cut the paper mache top off, place container of water (plastic deli kind works well) inside, fill with fall flowers. Chrysanthemums in water last as long as the ones that have their longish stems inserted through the skewered hole into a fresh pumpkin’s liquidy center. The pumpkin above should last about 2 weeks. (Unused flowers are left in a glass of water and can replace any flowers that wilt.)
Days later: I found–and bought– another pumpkin at Trader Joe’s and found scarecrows at Michael’s. Scarecrows are $1.25 on sale. Tomorrow I will phone my 101-year-old m-i-l and tell her I’d like to bring over a small decorated Halloween pumpkin, if she would like. Having control, at 101, has become even more important to her. She has become very particular about not having anything unnecessary around–she will recycle it to a friend or throw it away. That’s why I’ll ask first.
Related: 2013: Decorating a Gift Pumpkin: Instructions and finished product
2010: A Halloween Surprise
Check out “Newsworthy” (right sidebar). Click links to timely information and research from respected universities, plus some fun stuff–to help parents age well.
Susan: Bravo…but on streets such as mine I have discovered that outside attractive pumpkins merely attract TONS of people who are not even young so..no outside pumpkins for me!
Richard, I completely understand the hesitancy to have a wonderful outdoor pumpkin. That said, I guess you need one of my small indoor decorated pumpkins! Susan