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Friday, August 22, 2008

Outta my Gourd

This past spring I did a post on some of the women in my garden club making newspaper pots and planting heritage seeds. One of the types of seeds we planted was for birdhouse gourds.

You can see the package here on the left of this photo. I don't know the botanical name for these gourds.

There was a left over plant which I put into a large tree pot. As it began to grow I didn't quite know what to do with it but suddenly I had an inspiring thought. Behind my shed was this old metal arch that I had bought at Michael's Arts and Crafts store for a whopping $12 (using a coupon).

As you can see in this close up, the arch was just the right amount of support for these gourds. There are three big ones growing on it and lots of little ones. The little ones seem to rot out and fall off before they get as long as a finger so I don't know if there's a maximum amount of large gourds a single plant can sustain.

Before I left for Germany I noticed some new foliage growing out front in my perennial borders. I knew it was something unusual so I let it grow. Two weeks ago some friends were here and one of them pointed out that some type of gourd was growing at the base of one of the flowers.

Looking closely inside the foliage you can see what is growing there. It looks like the little white pumpkin called 'Baby Boo'. Last year I had bought a sack of assorted gourds and decorated my house with them. After Thanksgiving, I threw them on my compost heap. Looks like the seeds came through the winter!

By the way, those black specks aren't insects, the sprinklers were just on and they're just bits of soil.

Across the driveway in another perennial border is yet another compost gourd. This one has selected a nice location between some pretty Rudbeckia fulgida (Black eyed susans).

Looking inside this foliage you can see what is growing here too. There's a second one of these gourds but not located where I can photograph it well. It appears to be more rounded than the 'Baby Boo's' so I'm not sure yet what it will become.

Isn't this exciting?

I wonder if all gourds start out white and then turn colors?

This is the first time I've ever grown something like this and I feel like a kid with a new toy :-)

Off to water the garden,



Hermes said...

I think it is
Lagenaria siceraria
and if I'm right there are some lovely recipes you might want to try. Glad to have you back posting.

Nicol said...

I am also growing gourds. If I remember they were called a ball gourd. They should be large and very round. Right now they are a light green and should turn brown. At least I think they will. This is also a first for me.