Gourdy Details

On vacation last April in southern Virginia I marveled at a set of jewelry made from miniature bottle gourds in a local artisan's shop. Clever tiny dried shells painted and threaded with earring hooks and pendant chains. Lovely.

Came home determined to grow buckets of the little ornamental babies. I ordered seed online, started them on propagation mats under lights on May 18th and planted the seedlings in the raised bed on June 1st.

All summer long I tied them up on their two trellises - first the tiny tendrils then thick fuzzy stems and by August they were snakes creeping along trellis tops and spilling into the forsythia hedge behind them. White blossoms appeared by the second week of the month and I began pinching out the growing tips daily only to have new snakes emerge and thrive. By the end of the month I gave up and let them have their way. The forsythia, weighted down by the vines, didn't need a second pruning as in past years. Worked for me.

I harvested 15 bulbous beauties last weekend ranging in size from 2" to 5". To help with the curing process I've been faithfully wiping them down every day with rubbing alcohol to keep their outside skin clean. I found the passive air vent in the living room makes a great drying rack but the location is conveniently situated within reach of the cats. Lost the tiniest 2 incher mid-week to their fun and games. What a racket they made with it on the hardwood floors. The house sounded like a bowling alley and they reduced the little thing to a pulp.

Now I'm left with 14. And they're not as tiny as those little southern Virginia gems. Suggestion from the same disbelieving garden reality show friend - a themed calendar. Works for me.


  1. The biggest fan of my mother's gourds this year is no doubt my little dog. She chose a bright orange one and had us throwing it all around the yard so she could dig for it in the leaves and then bring it back, dented and leaking. We finally had to take it away when the thing split in half and she tried to eat all the seeds. Another gourd tragety.

  2. Lil Abner would say that those gourds look like a bunch of schmoos. They were funloving little creatures who were always seen in running in packs. BWB October 27