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Try out some white pumpkins this Halloween

These varieties range from pure white to cream colour with no trace of orange on them

Moonshine,” “Lumina,” “Baby Boo,” “New Moon” — these are all variety names of white pumpkins. It used to be that the spookiness of the Halloween season was depicted using only the colours orange and black. Well, move over orange and black, because white is fast gaining ground as the fearsome colour of choice.

Horticulturalists have developed several varieties of white pumpkins ranging from pure white to a cream colour, without a trace of orange anywhere on the skin surface. White shows up in the garden at night — proven by the popularity of moon gardens — where gardeners plant white-flowering plants so that they will create an evening display. White pumpkins will be just as visible in the nighttime where a bit of light focused on a white pumpkin set beside a tree trunk, beneath a shrub, or sitting on a fence or retaining wall will illuminate them. If a light is placed inside a carved white pumpkin, the entire pumpkin, including the carved face, will be illuminated. If more definition of the features is desired, the cut-out openings can be outlined with a black marker to accentuate them.

Because they are so visible, having white pumpkins with scary faces carved in them perched on tree branches or used as the head placed on a Halloween figure, will be a sure hit. All the better if the pumpkin has a few warts and bumps on the surface to mimic scars or wounds that could be highlighted with blood-red paint.

Use white pumpkins as heads of ghosts, created by draping white sheets or tablecloths over suitable forms. If the forms are hung from tree branches and there is no breeze, a fan can be run nearby to blow some air to make the material move.

Of course, white pumpkins have other uses besides creating spooky Halloween sights. They can be used in autumn displays where they will add contrast when combined with orange and yellow pumpkins, either in groupings of various-size pumpkins or in harvest baskets and other displays. Sit a white pumpkin on each step of the stairs leading to the front door — or alternate white and orange pumpkins. Faces and designs drawn on white pumpkins are much more visible than they are on orange pumpkins, so children (of all ages) can enjoy drawing on them. If the pumpkins are protected from rain, erasable marker can be used and the faces can be wiped off and new ones drawn.

A smooth-skinned white pumpkin can be hollowed out and used as a flower vase to hold an autumn floral arrangement or miniature white pumpkins, such as “Baby Boo,” can be incorporated into table displays.

Look for white pumpkins at retail outlets and garden centres this fall. Maybe you’ll use some in an autumn creation or a ghostly Halloween scene.

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