Pumpkins and squashes add such interesting colours and shapes to the garden and market stalls. (I have to confess that I no longer grow them since my garden became 'low-maintenance; this lot arrived in my Riverford organic veg box yesterday.) There seem to be more varieties each year and such a lot of recipes to try.
Although we all recited "Peter, Peter, Pumpkin eater" as children, I don't think we ever saw a real pumpkin in my small Lancashire town; our Jack O'Lanterns were made from large turnips. It wasn't until I moved to Hampshire in the late 60s that I saw pumpkins in the shops and a Canadian friend introduced me to pumpkin pie. I also discovered that Lancashire turnips are Hampshire swedes; you certainly couldn't make a Hampshire turnip into a Jack O'Lantern!
Nowadays everyone in the UK grows all manner of pumpkins and squashes, not just for Halloween but for cooking, competitions, wonderful Harvest Festival displays and simply for the pleasure of looking at them. I've discovered a wonderful website devoted entirely to pumpkins, with everything from how to make a pumpkin into a stunning sculpture to recipes for jams and muffins; it is called Bumpkin Pumpkins and I recommend a visit.