In gardening, as in painting, the unplanned can sometimes produce “a happy accident.” In this case, a pumpkin planted for its pie-making and a vine planted for its magenta-violet flowers enhance each other on the courtyard wall on a late October day.
The pumpkin (Cucubita pepo Early Sweet Sugar Pie) is not a long keeper, but makes a wonderful pie which has great flavor without needing disguise through spices. It color is such a rich, deep, orange one would think it had been bred for color alone. The Asian vine, Hyacinth Bean (Dolchos lablab), bears magenta-violet flowers which are a visual treat as well as enhancers of salads. The purple bean itself, however, has to be specially prepared before being eaten. Planted by our courtyard wall, this energetic vine reaches up 15 feet to where it somewhat camouflages the martin house before a frost puts an end to it.
The combining of these two culinary and visual delights was a chance event, but sometimes in gardening we just luck out