Talking Gourds

 gourd planting area at beginning of season

gourd planting area at beginning of season

My love of gourds and growing gourds goes back a lot of years and really, you need a lot of years to get better and more educated about growing something in your outdoor gardens.  The process is slow and usually if you make a mistake and learn something, you have to wait until next year to correct the problem.  Benefits from growing plants include: growing for beauty, for producing food to eat, for attracting nature and for the gourds I like to try............for harvesting a useful product.  All are great benefits!  I grew birdhouse gourds and luffa gourds, and as I said with varying degrees of success. 

 gourd harvest 2013

gourd harvest 2013

The above picture shows my gourds hanging to dry before the really cold weather and I would take them inside to finish.  Drying is always tricky, laying down they have to be turned to avoid rot and I thought I had a great idea to hang them with a small wire going through the base of the stem.  Well, the stem is the lifeline of the gourd and the hole with the wire let in disease and they all rotted.  Once again......next year............I'll be better.  The next 2 years after that I was plagued with a fungus that destroyed 30....50....all the possible gourds that developed.  Also, I have had the least luck with the luffa gourds.  They need a long growing season and I haven't won that battle yet.  So, this year I am moving the planting area, though I don't know where yet.............I'll let you know how things go.

 Holiday gourd arrangement

Holiday gourd arrangement

For the last 2 holiday seasons I have made gourd arrangements.  I have seen so much done with gourds in recent years, some beautifully and intricately finished, I decided to decorate them for the holidays and in the beginning I used gourds I grew and dried myself.  However, the past few years a fungus plagued my plants and I tried battling it, but should have remembered crop rotation and the reason for it, and planted elsewhere.  As abundant as the plants were, all leaves, little gourds and stems rotted and died.  I found a place to order them, though, and the gourds were so great and thick, the above arr. is one of them.  This natural one below is one of mine with just a poly finish.  

I try to attach the decorations to the ribbon that goes around the gourd.  That way, after the holidays, it can be used outside if someone wants to.

gourddecapart1.JPG

The decorations on the gourds are weatherproof and I sold a gourd arr. and said that it can go outside.  I like to actually try something myself when I sell it and I put a leftover gourd arr. outside.  The green paint did flake off.  Sorry, I if mislead anyone, but I am sanding the gourd down to put out as a birdhouse.  I would be happy to sand one down if there was a problem for anyone.

 natural gourds and peeling painted gourd

natural gourds and peeling painted gourd

 gourd planting area at end of season

gourd planting area at end of season

 birdhouse gourds developing

birdhouse gourds developing

 birdhouse gourd flower is white

birdhouse gourd flower is white

 luffa gourd flower is yellow

luffa gourd flower is yellow

 developing luffa gourd

developing luffa gourd

 two of my holiday creations in natural poly

two of my holiday creations in natural poly