Texas in the Fall: Pumpkins as Far as the Eye Can See

After several days of shopping the Texas Antique Week, head to Dallas for a sight that will surely tickle your fall fancies.


formal garden path with pumpkins lining pathway

The Pumpkin Village at the Dallas Arboretum is part of Autumn at the Arboretum, an annual event that kicks off in late September when the gardens are ablaze with a spectacular fall palette. Even the odd gray day is bright and cheery.


Autumnal flower beds and path in gold, green, yellow and red, with pumpkin accents

“Fall is our most colorful time of year,” says Dave Forehand, vice president of gardens, “Many of the summer flowers like zinnias, impatiens, salvia and coleus respond to cooler nights with blazing bursts of color. Our thousands of pumpkins bring out the color in banks of chrysanthemums that are layered with ornamental grasses, copper plants and firebush.”


pumpkin stack in flower bed

More than 50,000 pumpkins, squash, and gourds are arranged amid the colorful fall foliage. Every part of the gorgeous gardens is dressed in autumn glory. This pumpkin totem is such a simple and effective idea that we’re inspired to try it in our own garden beds at home.


gourd piles with hay and greenery and black iron gate

Over thirty varieties of pumpkins, 15 types of squash, and 8 types of gourds are used, along with 1,350 bales of straw and 1,200 corn stalks. The numbers are serious, but the gardens are full of whimsy. This vivid display of pumpkin and squash varieties is an eye-opener. Who knew there were so many unique choices?


pumpkin garden with pumpkin house

The focal point of the fall festival is the nationally acclaimed storybook Pumpkin Village, which highlights tales found in six popular children’s books, including Pumpkin Jack and Strega Nona’s Harvest. There’s a moment when the stacked pumpkins suddenly focus into the form of Strega Nona that just makes you giddy.

Cinderella pumpkin coach pulled by cornstalk horses

Of course, Cinderella’s pumpkin coach is a natural for the storybook village—and a favorite photo op. The stately pair of horses that draw the coach are made of corn stalks and feather grass plumes. Talk about inspiration!


Fancy pumpkin storytime gazebo with stories written on the interior

It takes 3 weeks to create the four houses and other decorations in the one-acre Pumpkin village. The time and care put into this display shows.


detail of a gourd display with purple fountain grass

A specially devised system of mounting the pumpkins on the houses and corn stalk stacks keeps the produce fresh throughout the season.


Pumpkin turret with hay and pumpkin tower

We loved the gooseneck squash floating on a meandering river of blue pumpkins. They never fail to produce a chuckle.


happy scarecrow in pumpkin, hay, corn, and flower display

Scarecrows are on hand to welcome visitors and try to discourage an invasion of feathered friends.


photo courtesy of the Dallas Arboretum

photo courtesy of the Dallas Arboretum

A kid-sized hay bale maze is a challenge for all ages and after all this wandering, there’s another draw for grown-ups with more hay bales set up like giant recliners.


pumpkin piles surrounding tree bases

If all these pumpkins on display have got you itching to carve a jack-o’-lantern or make your own small pumpkin spectacle, stop by the Pumpkin Patch on the way out to purchase a few from the wide variety on offer.


detail of pumpkin wall some of which have smiling jack o lantern faces

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road. Find out more about hours, schedules of events, and admission at dallasarboretum.org or call 214-515-6500.


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1 Comment

  1. October is my favorite month! I love all the different kinds of pumpkins. The gooseneck squash crack me up! And the pumpkin tower is something even I can do. Great post!

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