Every year at the end of September my dear neighbor Pam Howland, a long time Laguna Niguel resident, gives me a little heads up on where the best pumpkins are.
Not only must they be interesting, but she is a shopper--so price matters. This year her picks are Trader Joes for unusual varieties, Wal-Mart for small to medium sized regular orange varieties as well as bags of gourds and minis and Longs Drugs in Marina Hills for some larger orange ones.
Pam is a proponent of the more the merrier and this year my granddaughter counted at least nineteen piled in gay abandon around her front porch. The great thing I have learned from Pam besides her shopping hints is that rather than carve her pumpkins, she makes more of a fall display, so they look perfect right up to Thanksgiving.
This year I even spotted some edible varieties which will no doubt find their way into a delicious fall soup. Our recent hot spell has delayed the fall chrysanthemums she usually adds. Now that the weather is cooling, her fall display is just as we all love to see it: a glorious welcome to the holiday season.