by Daisy

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This past summer I grew three bottle gourds from a plant I bought impulsively at the garden center after none of the gourd seeds I planted germinated.

I thought three gourds wasn’t much of a yield from so much vine, but I was happy with my three gourds and put them in the shop to dry.

Two of the smaller ones are completely dry now and I decided to clean one of them and bring it into the house to live.

Here it is before:

During the washing–I scrubbed it with vinegar water and a green scotchbrite pad:

Some people sand and/or bleach their gourds, but I just loved the markings.

And finally, after a few coats of beeswax/olive oil melted together half and half and buffed:

Very simple, nothing fancy.  I wanted the tiny people to be able to play around with it (the seeds inside rattle softly).

Next time maybe I’ll cut into one of the others for a birdhouse or a bowl or a dipper.  The picture of the wet gourd in the middle of the post makes me want to try one with a glossy finish.. I hope this summer I can get more gourds, and more varieties of gourds, to grow.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

rowena___. January 20, 2010 at 6:09 am

that gourd is beautiful! perfectly shaped and you’re right, the markings are lovely.

Tanya Walton January 20, 2010 at 6:45 am

I have to say I don’t really get it??? Is it a vegetable?? Aren’t you supposed to eat it??? Why have you done this?? Have to say it is rather unique…would it make a good bird house???

pumpkinsx3 January 20, 2010 at 7:10 am

It would make a very stylish birdhouse.Every bird in the neighborhood would be envious of the birds who get a house like that.

LisaPie January 20, 2010 at 9:18 am

I like the gourds! Really pretty. The closest thing I grow is loofahs. They are absolutely gorgeous vines growing, big green leaves, even bigger gold/yellow blossoms. I love my loofahs! Plus at the end of the growing season, you have tons of loofahs to harvest for ready-made Christmas gifts. I gave my family each their own loofah, a hand-crocheted washcloth and some home-made soap.

Loofahs are also great for cleaning and scrubbing tile and grout, pots and pans, even the non-stick ones. Plus they can be ground up to make exfoliating soap bars.

If you are interested in putting in some loofahs, I would be happy to send you some seeds.

Michelle January 20, 2010 at 9:42 am

Good job on the gourd! I grew a plant, too…and I LOVED it. It was such an ego boost for me…made me look like I knew what I was doing out there in that garden of mine! I ended up with three gourds, too…and eventually they all rotted. Not sure what I did wrong? I’ll give it another try…the plants are too gorgeous not to!

Phyllis January 20, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Oh my goodness, those Loofahs! The amount of insects they attract is incredible! Many different kinds of wasps, honeybees, ladybugs! If you’re in need of attracting beneficials and pollinators, plant some loofahs. Is it spring yet?

Alice January 20, 2010 at 8:34 pm

I think a coat of sealer with a shine to it would enhance the natural beauty of the markings. Good job! And the loofas oh my those were great to grow as well as so many other uncommon plants. I once grew broom corn to make my own broom and it was amazing. You have awesome posts. Love them all. Thanks for sharing. you are sure to inspire someone along the way. Best Wishes

Ann January 20, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Random comment. I LOVE the wallpaper in the photo of the “finished” gourd. Where did you get it? What is it called? (The gourd is pretty too!)

Jean January 20, 2010 at 11:22 pm

love the gourd. You might also want to try shoe polish (maybe not for the ones the tiny people will play with). I did several before Thanksgiving this year with red and brown shoe polish, some with more, some with less. All the original markings show through, but you get a nice assortment of colors, too! We decorated the center of the table with these, and some that had no polish – it looked really nice!

Susieee! Mac January 20, 2010 at 11:41 pm

You can eat gourds. They’re quite yummy, especially in a chicken soup with tomatoes, onions, and garlic.

Tomato Lady January 21, 2010 at 1:46 am

rowena–Thank you!
Tanya Walton–Yes, you can eat them when they are young and green, but historically people have made household items with the dried ones and they are a great craft material, too, including birdhouses.
pumpkinsx3–Ha, yes, very chic!
LisaPie–I have some seeds from last year that I don’t think I gave a good enough chance. I’ll try again this year–I am so jealous of all your luffas.
Michelle–I’m going to keep trying. They are so fun to find dangling from the vines.
Phyllis–I know! This is really making me hanker for the growing season to get going already.
Alice–Yes, I think I’ll try that. I would love to grow my own broom! So awesome!
Ann–I wish I remember the name or manufacturer, but it’s been ten years probably. Try searching for “pineapple damask” wallpaper and you are sure to find something very similar. (I love it, too–never get tired of it, like so many papers).
Jean–Shoe polish, never thought of that. I’ll try that, thanks!
Susieee! Mac–I’ve never had enough to cook them, but I wish I did, your soup sounds so good!

jan January 22, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Its beautiful! I have never even thought of growing gourds, since you can’t eat them. Now though, I am looking forward to trying some this summer just to make something pretty. Thanks for sharing!

Arnulfo Guerra April 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm

I really like that you left it a natural color. I have two large gourds that I plan to make into miniature houses. I did not want to paint them , now I can see how beautiful they look naturally. I may use a high gloss verathane to keep all the details.

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