Roots to hold 10th annual pumpkin-carving event Saturday

This weekend, Roots Landscaping & Garden Center near Selbyville will be celebrating its 10th year offering a free pumpkin-carving event to the community.

“I love to carve pumpkins,” said Catherine Winkler, who owns Roots with her husband, Bill. “Some of my friends have their own get-togethers and do their own carving parties. It just seemed natural, seeing as we sell the pumpkins, to host something like this.”

The event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 1 to 3 p.m., to help ensure the pumpkins last through Halloween. During the event, people of all ages and skill levels can spend some time at Roots, carving or simply decorating their pumpkins.

“You just bring in your pumpkin, or you can purchase one from us,” explained Winkler. “We’ll have all the tools laid out. They’ll be somebody there to guide you through every step. You can pick out a template or freehand your own design. It’s all up to you.”

Winkler said that Roots has pumpkins available in prices ranging from 50 cents to $7, but suggests those who wish to carve purchase at least a $2.50 pumpkin.

“We have stickers and glitter paint, pipe cleaners and little props for the non-carvers, people who are carving in pairs,” she said of decorating items targeted for little ones. “We also have power tools and some pretty sharp blades that will accommodate the beginner to expert carvers. We have templates to make it really easy. Then we always encourage people to freehand their drawings.”

The free event also includes tips and tricks for those carving their own jack-o-lantern.

“Each year, we try to present new tricks and new tips to improve upon different techniques we’ve done in the past. We’ve got a couple of ideas up our sleeves, and we should be able to by our 20th year have an awesome show.”

Winkler said that, over the 10 years of hosting the event, she and her talented staff have learned a great deal in relation to all things pumpkin-carving.

“It’s definitely cumulative. In the beginning, you’re thrilled to put a couple of triangles for eyes and a crescent moon for a mouth, and by the time it’s all said and done ten years later, you’re scraping and drilling. I think we’ve definitely evolved as pumpkin-carving aficionados,” she said with a laugh.

Winkler said that Roots has its own discard pile where leftover unwanted scraps will be composted; however, she encourages people to take home their seeds to roast them.

“A lot of people will take their seeds home, because they’re so good for you. We do have recipes for roasting seeds. We try to promote taking the seeds home with you, but our motto is, ‘Leave your mess with us.’ That’s to appeal to anyone who doesn’t want the guts all over their yard.”

Along with pumpkins, Roots also offers a selection of hardy plants, as well as fall decorations.

“We have everything you need to decorate for fall — pumpkins, gourds, cabbage, kale, pansies, corn stalks, straw bales,” she said. “Fall is an excellent time to plant perennials, trees and shrubs. We also jump into the tropical world. We have loads of houseplants for people who need to bring the outdoors in during the cold winter months. We offer loads of unique pottery pieces to house some of those tropical plants.”

Winkler said it’s also not too soon to be thinking about Christmas, as Roots also offers Christmas trees, handmade wreaths, poinsettias and more.

“It runs the gamut as far as Christmas decorations, as well,” she said.

Winkler said that the carving event has grown in attendance over the years, and she hopes more people will attend this weekend.

“Every year, we get a little bit more,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Roots Landscaping & Garden Center is located at 36226 Dupont Boulevard (Route 113), north of Selbyville. For more information, call (302) 732-0866 or visit Find Roots on Facebook at