Most gardeners are acutely aware of the turning of the seasons. Winter may be marked by the spicy fragrance of witch hazel, the emergence of daffodils are a welcome sight in Spring and the first taste of a homegrown tomato in summer is a joy. One of the things I look forward to come Autumn is the harvesting of the eye-catching gourd.
I usually plant these in April and watch with great interest over following months to see the unusual bounty take shape. You never quite know what you might get, some bright and warty, others smooth in rich shades of orange. When the rest of the garden is starting to lose the summer splendour gourds offer a welcome injection of colour and interest. What’s more once the plant has started to shrivel the gourds can be picked (I tend to leave a reasonable length of stem on each) and brought into the house for ornamentation.
Whether out in the garden or arranged in a bowl in the centre of a table the weird and wonderful shapes and colours are always admired. There’s no real skill required to display gourds, literally pour them into a bowl and leave. Unlike fresh flowers they last months and when you’re ready for a change you will likely find that the witch hazel is out.