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Hallowe’en Special: Hurrah for the Pumpkins of Gijón!

27th October 2013 5 comments2334 views

Just a bit downhill from the largest single building in Spain, Gijón‘s University of Work, bigger than the Escorial Palace

 laborallaboral tower

…is a wondrous botanical garden, where boardwalks wind through enchanted woodlands (plus much more). I’m astonished how the Jardín Botánico Atlántico managed to grow so many pumpkins and gourds in the relatively small planting area devoted to the purpose; maybe they have secret acres of pumpkins elsewhere. Here is just a small percentage of the harvest piled beside an hórreo, an elevated granary. Because it’s always humid in Asturias, wind must ventilate stored corn-on-the-cobs, while the stone legs frustrate rats, although not sparrows. If an hórreo has more than 4 legs, it’s called a panera, is that clear?


Most things in Asturias connected with food are LARGE. This may seem to be a runaway pumpkin which I heroically hunted, but in fact it’s an ordinary Asturian persimmon fruit which fell from one of the trees—the pumpkin hunter always runs the risk of being squashed:


Here is Newton’s Cradle, according to pumpkins:


But beware, toothy Alien is bursting out of one:


Here are more pompous pumpkins, occupying benches:


and also safely confined:


…not to mention Twin Towers of pumpkins:

twin towers

And here’s a photo of a fetish-tree, dedicated to James Goddard who reinvented black-and-white photography:


Recently I wrote a crime story (still out at market) exploiting the red squirrels who reside in the botanical garden as red herrings. So far, this year of 2013, I’ve written 10 short stories. An earlier story featuring botanical gardens (of Italy) and a deep conspiracy, is due in a future Postscripts.

All of which has nothing to do with the Steampumpkin Project:





  1. A great piece Ian, and a fantastic building. I must visit that when I next come to Spanishland. Cristina’s photographs are lovely, but there are some that are better in colour rather than monochrome, was that an aberration? Where can I get a fetish-tree?

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