All pumpkins are actually winter squashes, but not all winter squashes are pumpkins. As well as standard traditional pumpkins, typically orange and used for carving at Halloween, you’ll find fruits in steely blue and chartreuse green. Some cultivars have blotched skin, while others are elegantly ribbed. But it’s not all about looks: the best winter squashes are aromatic, with a superb flavour. They’re straightforward to grow and easy to store, keeping the kitchen well-stocked through autumn and winter.
Pick your varieties cleverly and you can grow squashes wherever you live. Early-fruiting types suit northerly gardens; if space is at a premium, train a scrambling variety up an archway. Or grow a baby-fruited squash in a large pot.