Can you figure out what is wrong with this picture?
I can see two things.  First of all, my son is holding a pumpkin from our vegetable garden in July.  Definitely not the normal time of year for seeing kids with pumpkins.
The second thing wrong with this photo is that my son is in a wheelchair.  He needs the wheelchair as he recovers from hip surgery.  We go back to the doctor this week and Kai will hopefully be able to stand up and start physical therapy and get out of that wheelchair.  I don’t mean to complain about the wheelchair…it has made our lives much easier and Kai can really get around very well in it, but I yearn for the day when he will be able to run around again.  You can read more about Kai’s story here if you like.
 Once Kai can stand and walk, he no longer will rely on us to carry him – I actually threw my back out last week picking him up and still cannot pick him up.  We are looking forward to his doctor saying that he can walk again 🙂
Okay, back to the pumpkin….a few weeks ago, I wrote about “An Escapee From The Garden” which featured our pumpkin plant that decided to grow outside of our garden.
Back in March, my daughter, Gracie planted the seeds….


 They took about 7 days to germinate and then quickly began to grow.  *Now, we realized that the time to plant pumpkins for the fall is in June, but the kids really wanted to plant pumpkins early, and so we did 🙂
Being rather new to vegetable gardening, we did not realize how large the pumpkin plants would spread.  Pretty soon one of our plants decided to venture outside of the garden…
Shortly afterward, we noticed a little pumpkin forming – outside of the garden, of course.
It grew quite quickly…
This morning, I stepped out into the garden and this is what I found…
And so, we are probably the only people in Arizona who have a pumpkin gracing the top of their kitchen table in the month of July.
We planted new pumpkin seeds this month in hopes of getting pumpkins in time for fall.
On my way back inside from the garden, I noticed another escapee from the garden…
Our watermelon plant decided to copy the pumpkin plant.  Next month may bring watermelons forming outside of the vegetable garden as well.  Oh well, we have plans to expand our garden this fall 🙂
I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July celebration!
Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."

27 replies
  1. Brett and Jennifer Humphrey
    Brett and Jennifer Humphrey says:

    Noelle, Yesterday Josh picked one of my Cinderella Pumpkins. It is so cute, but on the small side. I look forward to the fall where we will hopefully have many big ones. Our pumkins have also sprouted up in places where we didn't plant them. Right now we are harvesting tomatoes galore, basil, mint, corn and Anaheim Chilis. We have been doing a lot of cooking with them.

    Reply
  2. Terra
    Terra says:

    That is a cool story about the pumpkin that escaped from your vegetable patch, and how you now have a June Arizona pumpkin. I hope your son Kai is out of the wheelchair soon, especially since you injured your back lifting him. He will soon be having fun running about, I imagine.

    Reply
  3. FlowerLady
    FlowerLady says:

    Dear Noelle ~ It is strange seeing a pumpkin in July that's for sure. Pumpkins always make me feel happy for some reason.

    I hope Kai will soon be out of the wheelchair and regaining his mobility. PT will probably be rough at first, but it will be less painful the more he progresses with it.

    I'm sorry you threw out your back. Hope you will soon be feeling much better too.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

    Reply
  4. Antique ART Garden
    Antique ART Garden says:

    Kai looks os cute with that pumpkin on his lap. Be super careful with your back, I have had many problems before, and it can take months or years sometimes to recuperate. Gentle young lady ! take care, Gina

    Reply
  5. Jenni
    Jenni says:

    Hi Noelle ~ your pumpkin is very cute and I bet your kids are so excited about it 🙂 I read Kai's story..what an amazing kid! You must be a proud Momma ~ thanks for sharing it, I really enjoyed reading it and hoping for Kai's wheel chair days to be over soon 🙂

    Reply
  6. Town Mouse
    Town Mouse says:

    Love it! I am not a big fan of the colors red, white, and blue (sorry) but I love orange. Wouldn't this be the best 4th of July decoration?

    Best wishes to Kai!

    Reply
  7. Turling
    Turling says:

    Wishing the best for you and your son. You both seem very strong and will get through this, I'm sure.

    I'm now even more concerned about where to put our pumpkins, as they are needing to be transplanted. I saw that a single vine can take up to 500 square feet!! I'll keep my fingers crossed that your second planting is ready before Halloween.

    Reply
  8. Kimberly
    Kimberly says:

    Hi, Noelle! Your new profile picture is a good picture of you.

    Kai is looking well, and I'm hoping for good news this week! Not that my recent knee injury is anywhere close to Kai's situation, but I've been enduring crutches. They are necessary and are helping my knee recover, but I'm really tired of them. I can somewhat understand how you and Kai must feel about the wheel chair. In addition to the fact that you want to see your little one running and having fun! I'm looking forward to a good report!

    Your July pumpkin is awesome! I'm so surprised that it grows so well in the AZ heat. I've tried to grow them in FL but have not been successful. I'm going to try in August/Sept for tomatoes, cucs, beans, and pumpkins. We'll see.

    Reply
  9. Hocking Hills Gardener
    Hocking Hills Gardener says:

    Now that is one smart pumpkin. It just wanted to hurry up so it could go indoors out of all of that heat LOL!
    It will be wonderful when Kai can get the okay to start walking. I bet he is ready to get out of that wheelchair too.

    Reply
  10. Linda/patchwork
    Linda/patchwork says:

    I love pumpkins!…but, I don't have room. Anything that ventures outside the fenced garden here, gets chomped by the deer.

    Hope Kai is out of that wheelchair very soon. And, hope your back gets better soon, as well. Ouch!

    Reply
  11. Catherine@AGardenerinProgress
    Catherine@AGardenerinProgress says:

    How fun to have a pumpkin, even if it's early. I bet your new plants will catch up in no time.
    Hope Kai is able to get rid of the wheelchair soon, I bet you're all anxious for him to be back to running around. Take care of your back!

    Reply
  12. Joy K.
    Joy K. says:

    We had chrysanthemums blooming in May. Maybe gardners should post calendars out in their gardens so the plants can keep up with their appointments.

    Reply
  13. Martha Z
    Martha Z says:

    I bet Kai is anxious to be up and out of that chair. Our grandson is now 60 pounds and just about at my limit to carry him. Even positioning him in his wheel chair can be a challange. At least he can walk if needed which I know is not currently the case with Kai.
    I hope the doctor's visit brings good news.

    Reply
  14. debsgarden
    debsgarden says:

    Noelle, i just read your son's inspiring story. I can see in the photos that he is a happy little boy who loves life! I know your children are very proud of their pumpkin. You are right, there probably aren't many ripe pumpkins this time of the year in Arizona! I hope your watermelon does as well.

    Reply
  15. Christine B.
    Christine B. says:

    Good grief! Pumpkins and watermelon. Two things I will never be able to grow. And I do adore a juicy watermelon. I probably ate ten or more slices in the past three days. It's not fourth of July without watermelon. I don't have anything to do with pumpkins unless they are in a cookie form;)

    Christine in Alaska

    Reply
  16. Candy "Sweetstuff"
    Candy "Sweetstuff" says:

    I read about your handsome son and commented. What a brave young man. Pumpkins in July, who would have thought. That is really great though. I hope you get some watermelons too! Take care!

    Reply
  17. Kyna
    Kyna says:

    That is so cool! Pumpkin is definitely on the planting agenda for next year 😀

    I hope that Kai is walking soon as well. Probably sucks for him to not be able to get around as he'd like. I know how little boys are! 😀 And for the sake of your back health as well 😉

    Reply
  18. Grace Peterson
    Grace Peterson says:

    Hi Noelle, Blessings to Kai. I can understand your not wanting to complain about the wheelchair. I'm sure it's a huge help but it's no substitute for two capable legs and feet. Well, it is but, you know what I mean. I hope. Bless his heart, he's got such a sweet smile.

    Well it might be an early pumpkin but it's a beauty, perfectly round and orange.

    Reply

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