Pumpkins, Christmas trees bring old-time cheer to Boulevard

| October 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

COLORFUL gourds and pumpkins and a maze are at the Pumpkin Patch. Photos courtesy of Wendy Clifford

It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays are upon us, what with the Larchmont Pumpkin Patch open for business … and fresh-cut Christmas trees soon headed our way.

“We plan to close the Pumpkin Patch at the end of the day on October 30, but if we still have a good supply of pumpkins left and customers are pouring in late on Friday the 30th, we might persuade our staff to stay open on Halloween morning,” Scot Clifford, chair of the Wilshire Rotary Foundation, told us.

The Hoedown at the Pumpkin Patch, at 568 N. Larchmont Blvd., was cancelled this year, but plenty of pumpkins and colorful gourds were delivered soon after the Wilshire Rotary Club received its permit to operate on Oct. 2.

PUMPKINS are expected to be on Larchmont through Oct. 30, maybe Oct. 31.

“The city doesn’t always grant these permits,” Clifford said, and, because of the coronavirus, the process took considerable time to get the A-OK via an email. (Because the October edition of the Larchmont Chronicle hit the newsstands and neighbors’ doorsteps Oct. 1, we missed telling our readers about the popular fall tradition ahead of time.)

Permit in hand, Rotarians Wendy Clifford and Larry and Elsa Gillham drove north to Santa Paula, where the Cliffords’ son helped pack and truck back more than 18,000 pounds of pumpkins and gourds.

While children miss the usual bounce house and petting zoo, also cancelled because of the pandemic, a maze made of hay bales adds to the old-fashioned fun, Clifford told us.

Plenty of hand sanitizer is available, as well as gloves and masks, for anyone who forgot to bring theirs.

The good news is that the Pumpkin Patch permit also applies to the Christmas tree lot, which will be at the same location — as it has been for the past 14 years.


TALKING TREES, Scot Clifford (left) stands among Larchmont’s future Christmas trees in Oregon with grower Andy Heuberger in August 2017.

Douglas firs and noble trees are expected to arrive around Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, silvertips are not available from the supplier this year.

“Deliveries are never exactly precise. The growers cut the trees immediately before the 24-hour trip from Oregon. Sometimes there are delays. Typically we aim to open the Friday after Thanksgiving,” said Clifford.

Wreaths, mistletoe and reindeer and snowmen made from cut trees will also be for sale.

The trees brought to Larchmont are “top-of-the-line, high-quality premium trees,” said Wendy Clifford.

The Larchmont lot only carries “plantation trees,” which are sustainably grown on a farm in Oregon.

Unlike a wild tree, these are fertilized and shaped, creating a thicker trunk than a tree you might find in the forest, and making for not only a beautiful tree, but also a fragrant one, added Scot.

While in years past the Cliffords have traveled to Oregon to view the trees, the pandemic curbed travel plans.

“Our trees, if they are cut on a Monday, are on our lot Wednesday, and we put them in water as quickly as we have the manpower to do it.

“You’re going to get a much fresher tree at a lot like ours.”

The tree lot may be even more popular than the Pumpkin Patch, judging by the calls Clifford gets.

Some residents, so eager to get their trees, call him on his cell phone about arrival times.

“Some people like Christmas trees more than I do. And I like them a lot,” he said.

Trees for a good cause

Profits from both the Pumpkin Patch and the tree lot support charities and schools locally and around the world. The Wilshire Rotary Club recently purchased hardback dictionaries for elementary students, and the group sponsors field trips to the Pumpkin Patch and tree lot for visually impaired students from Van Ness Elementary, as well as supports that school with donations.

Fighting polio and providing necessary food and water are among causes Rotary International supports.

“We think we do a good job with our charities,” Scot said.

Tags: , ,

Category: Real Estate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *