Have a Go at Growing and Showing a Pumpkin

Friday 10 March 2017

Free pumpkin seed giveaway at RHS Garden Hyde Hall during National Gardening Week

Last year, Hyde Hall Horticulturist Matthew Oliver broke the UK record for growing the heaviest outdoor-grown pumpkin, and now as part of National Gardening Week celebrations he will be doing a free pumpkin seed giveaway on Wednesday 12 April, from 10.30am.

The theme of this year’s National Gardening Week is all about helping new gardeners to get growing, and Matthew is hoping that by giving away free seeds it will encourage people to have a go at growing a pumpkin for themselves.

Matthew said: “Last year when I grew a giant pumpkin the level of interest was just incredible, and ever since I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of people asking me about growing pumpkins and squashes. In total I grew four giant pumpkins and, while I’ve already given away some of the harvested seeds to a number of keen amateurs, charities and professional growers, I wanted to ensure I saved some for Hyde Hall visitors.

He went on to say: “Not only do I want people to have a go at growing giant pumpkins, but also showing them as well. On 28 October we are holding a Pumpkin Day at Hyde Hall and a prize will be awarded for the largest pumpkin brought along on the day. Vegetable growing is a great way of getting the family outdoors and in just a few months you will be rewarded with fresh, tasty vegetables, so I do hope a few of our visitors will be up for the challenge.”

Visitors coming along to the giveaway should be aware that there is a limited amount of pumpkin seed available, and it will be on a first-come, first served basis, limited to one seed per family.

However, if you’re not successful in acquiring a free seed you can also purchase seeds from Matthew’s UK Giant Pumpkin from Thompson & Morgan which is selling them under the name of Matt’s Monster.

In 2016 Hyde Hall’s UK Giant Pumpkin weighed in at a whopping 1333.8lbs (95 stone). It was grown from the world’s most expensive pumpkin seed, purchased at auction for £1,250 by Paul Hansord from Ipswich-based seed merchants Thompson & Morgan. The seed came from the then heaviest pumpkin in the world, which weighed 2,323lb (166 stone) grown by Beni Meier from Switzerland in 2014. After the Hyde Hall pumpkin was confirmed as the UK’s heaviest outdoor-grown pumpkin, Matthew harvested the seeds and then turned the pumpkin into a boat and set sail across the Hyde Hall lake.

For more information, please contact: Sue Carter, RHS Garden Hyde Hall, 01245 402006 or suecarter@rhs.org.uk.



Notes to editors

Enter a world of tents, tea, and terrifically good jam with RHS Great British Village Show. In the ‘Grow and Show’ section you’ll find Hyde Hall’s Matthew Oliver sharing tips on how to grow giant pumpkins.

Written by Thane Prince and Matthew Biggs, and with a foreword by Alan Titchmarsh, this is the only guide to a unique British tradition.

Published 3 April 2017 RRP £20
Royal Horticultural Society/Dorling Kindersley

About RHS Garden Hyde Hall
RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Creephedge Lane, Rettendon, Chelmsford, Essex CM3 8ET
www.rhs.org.uk/hydehall  0845 265 8071*
*Calls to RHS ‘08’ numbers cost 5p per minute, plus your telephone service provider`s access charge.

Current opening times
10am – 4pm (6pm March to October). Last admission is one hour before closing.

2017 garden admission prices
Adults £11.00 (£12.10 with donation)
Children (5 – 16yrs) £5.50 (£6.05 with donation)
Children 4 & under Free
Family (2 adults + 2 children £28.00 (£30.90 with donation)
RHS members enjoy free entry with a family guest (entitlements vary according to membership type).

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood to inspire passion and excellence in the science, art and practice of horticulture. Our vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. We believe everyone in every village, town and city should benefit from growing plants to enhance lives, build stronger, healthier, happier communities and create better places to live.

We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, our flagship garden, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity. At our gardens and shows, through our scientific research, website, publications, libraries, education and community programmes we inspire a passion for gardening and growing plants. We’re committed to promoting the value of gardens, demonstrating how gardening is good for us and explaining the vital roles that plants play in a sustainable world.

The RHS is committed to bring the joy of gardening to millions more people, inspire the next generation of gardeners and invest in the future to safeguard a £10.4 billion industry employing more than 300,000 people. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters. RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and help us secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 020 3176 5820, or visit www.rhs.org.uk/join

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

Latest press releases

About the RHS

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people's lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262