Photo by Linda Robertson.
Joe van Alphen routinely wins awards for his dahlias and
tulips but it is his pumpkins that have been getting the
A keen flower gardener, the 83-year-old tried his hand with
pumpkins for the first time this year.
His first attempt, from a plant bought at a hardware store,
grew so large it became the centre of a competition at
Chatsford Retirement Village where he lives.
Residents have been guessing its weight and last week it was
revealed as 35.5kg.
Mr van Alphen was surprised at the size of the pumpkin given
it nearly died but believed it could have been bigger if he
had removed a smaller pumpkin.
''I'm not so good at vegetables. I like flowers,'' he