Surprise Plant

Milly Molly Mandy
When we need a little comfort-reading we always turn to Milly Molly Mandy. We chat about what it would be like to live in a little white cottage with a thatched roof with a brook at the bottom of the nearest meadow. It’s a very nice fantasy, and quite different from our current “eat your breakfast!”…”Hurry up! We’re late! We’re leaving in five minutes!”…”Can someone wipe Lily’s nose/hands?!” reality. At the beginning of last Spring we read the story “Milly Molly Mandy and the Surprise Plant”. MMM is given a little mystery seedling as a gift and plants it in her garden. As the Summer goes by the plant grows and grows; “It spread out branches along the earth, with tendrils which curled round any stalk or twig they met and held fast.” After much theorising It turns out to be a prolific pumpkin. After giving away the largest pumpkin for Harvest Festival they cook up the rest and everyone gets a little bread and butter with pumpkin and ginger jam spread on it.

So of course we decided we should plant a pumpkin to fill the new garden bed which we had put in when the deck was taken away (hooray!). True to the story the crawling creeper has grown and grown and is slowly but surely spreading it’s long tentacle, triffid-like arms around the garden. Amelia keeps talking about growing a prize winning pumpkin. “Ooh, this sunshine will be good for our Prize Winning Pumpkin!” etc. Despite the enthusiasm we have only just seen a few male flowers popping up their heads in the last couple of weeks and nothing in the way of female flowers let alone any signs of a pumpkin. Perhaps it’s been the lack of rain or maybe our new topsoil is lacking in goodies, but I may have to wait until next year and another attempt to try my hand and pumpkin and ginger jam. Perhaps Jane will have a recipe in her book!