Everything's bigger in Texas -- including the pumpkin patches. The weekend before Halloween is a big one for the Dallas Arboretum. Between the Dale Chihuly exhibit and the hay bale maze, there's plenty to see and do at the 66-acre arboretum, but on Sunday the biggest draw might have been the pumpkin patch. This year's pumpkin village has grown to include an astounding 50,000 pumpkins (up from 40,000 in 2010). One thing is certain: they won't be running out of pumpkins any time soon. Click through to see our photos.
“Small” and “modest” aren’t in Dallas residents’ vocabularies. Some 45 different varieties of pumpkin and gourd have been formed into houses and other structures at the Cinderella-themed pumpkin village. The pumpkin village was launched by the arboretum a few years ago, and it has swelled in size as its popularity has grown. At the center of this year’s pumpkin patch is Cinderella’s pumpkin-shaped (of course) carriage, which is pulled by a couple of full-size topiary horses.
In our culture, pumpkins are used both as food and as decorations, but they’re rarely used as a building material. Using about 1,200 pumpkins and gourds, garden workers constructed whole houses that are meant to resemble Cinderella’s ballroom and the other houses from the folk tale. The sheer scale of the pumpkin patch is pretty overwhelming. Throughout the rest of the arboretum, pumpkins are found scattered throughout the gardens, lining beds of freshly-planted mums. The pumpkin patch is part of the ‘Autumn in the Arboretum’ program, which also includes a popular Dale Chihuly exhibit and several music performances.
The Dallas Arboretum is located on the shore of White Rock Lake, a large reservoir in East Dallas. About two-thirds of the 66-acre grounds are made up of land that was once part of the estate owned by geophysicist Everette Lee DeGolyer, and the 21,000-square-foot DeGolyer Estate, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Place, still stands on the site.
In the spring, the arboretum will open another major attraction for young people. Construction is currently underway on the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden, a new eight-acre theme park for kinds that will focus on earth science. The $56-million project will feature 17 outdoor and indoor galleries, a one-acre interactive wetlands, and a skywalk through a canopy of trees. The Children’s Adventure Garden is scheduled to open in late spring.
The pumpkin patch will be on display until November 23. To see more photos of the arboretum’s pumpkin patch, visit Inhabitat’s Flickr set.