Welcome to my Western Pennsylvania garden. Join me on a "Walk Down the Garden Path".

Monday, November 3, 2008

Gourds Galore!

One of the best fall decorative items can be grown in right in your own garden - gourds! From those big orange orbs we call pumpkins to the little warty, winged gems - they are all wonderful in my book. This year the deer decided that I wasn't going to have any homegrown gourds, well, almost. I did get a few little pumpkins and some white spaceship squashy things. These all went to the fall display, but a trip to the farmer's market would be necessary to "round" it out and to pick the perfect pumpkins for carving. I like going to the farmer's market for gourds and pumpkins anyway, they always have a great selection. Even Lillian was able to pick out the perfect pumpkin for her.

Picking out the perfect pumpkin!

The Fall Display seems to be missing something.

Oh, yes. A child - that's better.

Little White and Big Orange Pumpkins

Carving on Halloween's Eve

Friend or Foe ?!?

The Monster Mash

If you grew gourds in your garden for crafting (like birdhouse gourds), it's probably getting to be time to pick them. Be sure to leave some stem on and use sharp scissors or pruners so you get a nice clean cut. If you are going to dry them, make sure they have lots of good air circulation. It may take several months for them to dry. You will know they are ready when they are light and you can hear the seeds shake inside.


tina said...

There she is! Of course she was missing! I say raccoons definitely FOE since they ate my goldfish. Poor things. Great carving btw.

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

The gourds are different I'm not a big fan of the I think they are kind of ugly but your Fall dispay with pumpkins is smashing. Isn't a group called just that Smashing Pumpkins??

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

The gourds are different I'm not a big fan of the I think they are kind of ugly but your Fall dispay with pumpkins is smashing. Isn't a group called just that Smashing Pumpkins??

Anonymous said...

Nice fall display! I love the designs you carved into those pumpkins too.

Cindy said...

Tina ~ Yes, I think foe as well. Although welcome as a pumpkin. Your poor goldfish. Was it a one time occurrence and do you still have goldfish or is it impossible due to the fiends?

Tyra ~ Yes I think Smashing Pumpkins is a group but I am not familiar with them other than the name.

PGL ~ Thank you! It was a lot of fun to carve and the first time we have in a couple of years.

tina said...

I started with 7 goldfish nearly three years ago in my cast iron bathtub pond. 5 disappeared last spring. I thought it was birds, then a cat. I had a nighttime light in the little pond so it was lit up well. Well, then finally I turned off the light and figured that since the leaves came out the birds couldn't see the fish anymore and my last two would be good. Leaves are still here but what I did wrong was put the light back on now that it is cooling down. I did not use the light in the summer as the water was already too hot. The same night I turned on the nighttime light the two fish disappeared. We found the remnants of one. I was so sad!!!!!!! And shocked too! Just like that they were gone and nothing I could do. Now the dog food is disappearing. I am about to set up a video camera to catch the culprit. Pretty sure a raccoon. Do possums and skunks eat fish? No more fish until I can protect them. Probably a good thing as no need to heat the pond or run the pump in the winter now.

Anna said...

The pumpkin carvings are professional looking. Looks like you have an artist touch. Have you made a birdhouse from the gourds? I tried to grow them this year but they got crowded out by the watermelon.

Kids and pumpkins are a must and your little one is precious.

Nola @ the Alamo said...

I love gourds. I planted 3 varieties, but ended up with one birdhouse gourd and two tiny little luffah, don't know if they'll mature before winter.

Gail said...

Cindy, Hi there, your sweet baby is precious! On the other hand, Mr. Raccoon...although not completely a foe...how about calling him a great big pest!


Defining Your Home said...

I was all ready to grow gourds and now I read that the DEER eat them! Too bad for me. :-(

Thanks for posting on m blog...it lead me to your blog. I'm adding your blog to my blogroll...okay?


Rose said...

Pumpkin hunting with a little one is definitely the most fun! Looks like Lillian picked one just the right size for her:)
I've never grown gourds, but I think they're so much fun and always wind up buying several just for decoration.
Wow! Who's the master carver? Did he use a pattern?

Sarah said...

Wonderful raccoon carving!! I think we have the same little bench for our kids. There's just something so cute about little ones and little pumpkins isn't there?

Cindy said...

Tina ~ That's so sad about your fish :( If you catch that fiend on video you will have to post it on your blog. I have been wanting a pond but fish would be out of the question, they would never survive all the local pests. I don't know if possums or skunks eat fish. Raccoons I know eat them.

Anna ~ I grew birdhouse gourds last year and dried them successfully but have not made anything from them yet. Maybe this winter. If I do, I'll surely post about it.

Nola ~ I've never grown luffah gourds. I hope they mature so you will have a nice luffah for your bath.

Gail ~ Yes, I prefer my raccoons carved in pumpkins. Although they also like to eat my pumpkins on display (well, something does). I keep finding little squash/pumpkins hollowed out on the porch.

Cameron ~ The deer ate our gourds this year for the first year. And it was the vines they ate, the poor gourds never had a chance to set. In past years we grew the gourds with no fencing and no problems, I don't know if the dry conditions this year forced the deer to eat every bit of moisture they could find. Don't be disheartened by the deer, you must try gourds they are super easy!

Rose ~ yes, Lillian just loved that little pumpkin :)
Even when we grow the gourds we always buy some. They last such a long time and are perfect even at Thanksgiving. We shared the carving duties this year. John did Mr. Raccoon, no pattern. I did the Monster Mash - with a pattern. It was my first time doing an intricate design and I would do a few things differently next time. But it was fun and I am amazed how well it turned out.

Cindy said...

Sarah ~ That bench is so perfect for little kids and little pumpkins! I'll let my husband know you enjoyed his raccoon carving.

DP Nguyen said...

You have such a cutie pie, and surrounded by all those little gourds and little pumpkins! The carvings are so cool too. You have a talented family!

Fern said...

Your "pumpkin" made me smile. I remember picking out pumpkins when I was a kid. She looks so thrilled!

Cindy said...

Hi DP ~ Thanks, she is a sweetie and I was amazed that she sat there more than a second. I think she was distracted by all the gourds and pumpkins :)

Fern ~ She loved her little pumpkin and didn't want to give it up when she had to. I think she would have carried it around all day :)

sharp green pencil said...

Hi from Val .. and thanks very much for your comment on the blog. I sometimes struggle with the discipline of the drawings and occasionally need to break out and splash paint around too!.. Love the gourds. I keep seeing them in the supermarket here and must get round to painting some more..

Cindy said...

Hi Val - Thanks so much for stopping by. The gourds would make a colorful painting and for some very interesting forms. I hope you do some and post them.

Wendy Christensen {Moments Like This} said...

Those are cool pumpkins - love the detail!! I hope you had a wonderful Halloween ...!

Anna said...

Oh good, I'll look forward to seeing those houses. I had heard you needed to wash them out with a colorox rinse and then coat everything in a shellac sp? type sealer. Oh yea, a hole in the bottom for draining.

Cindy said...

Hi Wendy ~ Thank you ! And yes it was a great Halloween!

Anna ~ I've already cleaned the outsides with the bleach rinse and so really it's just cutting the holes and coating them. Hey, I'd better get busy, that's not too much to do :)