UK: Pumpkin Mural is a Natural Marvel

By: RTV/CBS
By: RTV/CBS
Not much happens in the sleepy English village of Slindon in West Sussex until October when a burst of color from the shed roof made of pumpkins signifies the start of Halloween.

Each year, pumpkin picture-makers use the roof of his shed as a canvas on which to create an extraordinary mural. Based on Robin's ideas and drawings, the roof designs can take a couple of weeks to prepare the picture, placing the pumpkins and staking them to keep the picture secure. (Courtesy: RTV/CBS)

Not much happens in the sleepy English village of Slindon in West Sussex until October when a burst of color from the shed roof made of pumpkins signifies the start of Halloween.

The tradition dates back to the early 1960's when local gardener Ralph Upton started to sell his pumpkins and squash to the locals from his courtyard - but it wasn't until the early 1990's that he had the idea of decorating his shed roof with his seasonal pumpkins and squashes.

Tourists from as far afield as the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia have travelled to the UK to see the annual festivities and each year villagers wait with baited breath to see what the display will illustrate.

With the passing of generations, it is now up to Ralph's son, Robin Upton, to sustain the tradition and this year he decided to portray a scene from the fairytale Cinderella; at midnight when the magic charm begins to fade and her horses drawing the carriage change back to mice.

Each year, pumpkin picture-makers use the roof of his shed as a canvas on which to create an extraordinary mural. Based on Robin's ideas and drawings, the roof designs can take a couple of weeks to prepare the picture, placing the pumpkins and staking them to keep the picture secure.

This autumn event is a celebration of pumpkin growing on an impressive scale. With 1,000 fruits - they are indeed fruits and not vegetables - pumpkins and another 60 members of the cucurbit family occupy every available space in an attempt to lure passers-by to come and have a look around.

But Slindon is not a village you would simply stumble across and it is still surprising that this little hamlet, far off the normal tourist track, attracts so many international visitors.

Visitors who marvel at the colorful mural are often amazed by the sheer variety of Pumpkins and Squashes available and often leave armed with a handful of the fruits on sale and a simple recipe booklet to help them discover the full potential of what is often overlooked in the kitchen.

Aside from the bounty of Pumpkins sold to visitors, many are sold to hotels, florists and companies seeking seasonal decoration.


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