Sculptor extraordinaire Loni Drager carved this suite of squash for the top of my garden shed at the beginning of last year (ie, in summer). The idea was that as the leaves shed off the creeper as winter approached, the squash would slowly be revealed – which is precisely what happened. And it was good!
However, at the end of last winter it became clear that the squash were taking a hammering from the elements – not only had just one season of Cape rain begun eating away at them, but little creatures had started boring in underneath to make nice cosy homes within the wood shells.
When summer arrived and the creeper regrew its leaves towards the end of last year, I took the pumpkins down and stored them under a tree just off the verandah (and the biggest one immediately became Maui the cat’s favourite perch).
A few weeks ago, when they were thoroughly dry, I painted them – the close-ups do appear fairly garish, but all the squash really look quite perfect from the vantage point of the verandah. So now all the pumpkins are completely weatherproof, although I have left the undersides of the two biggest ones unpainted, so that little critters can still make their homes inside.