The Gourd By The Door

by Daisy on 08/27/2014

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IMG_5193 By the time I noticed there was a birdhouse gourd growing in the foundation shrubs by our kitchen door it was already too big to move. I decided to let it grow and see what happened.

What happened was, it grew gourds.

There are three of them that I can see. I have a sneaking suspicion there is a fourth hidden somewhere among the dwarf nandinas. I’ve looked for it and it’s probably not there, but I still hope it is and that it’s the granddaddy of them all, and that we will gasp with amazement when it finally reveals itself.

I love most volunteer plants, and I think this is my favorite of them all so far, particularly since the gourds in the garden were killed by squash bugs.

An unexpected reprieve, a surprise.

Right at my doorstep.


BREAKING NEWS: I found the fourth gourd!!! It really does exist! And it’s a big ‘un! (Now hoping for a hidden fifth!)

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Angela Bergeron August 28, 2014 at 4:01 am

That happened to me, but with a zucchini plant randomly growing in my front lawn! All my squashes and cucumbers in my garden were completely wiped out by powdery mildew, but my random zucchini plant in the middle of the weeds/lawn is doing great with just a little bit of powdery mildew on the back end…go figure.

Debbie August 28, 2014 at 6:02 am

This is so pretty. What an awesome surprise.

@ Angela, a safe product you can treat your zucchini with is milk, spoiled or fresh. I’ve used it and it works pretty well.

Thanks for sharing,


Sallie August 28, 2014 at 6:59 am

Good things come to she who waits.

Nicole August 28, 2014 at 10:22 am

@ Debbie, is the milk for powdery mildew? I have used a mixture of baking soda and water that has kept it from getting to bad.


Daisy August 29, 2014 at 7:18 am

Sallie–Keep that in mind. Figs still aren’t ripe yet!

Daisy August 29, 2014 at 7:19 am

Debbie–I love this kind of surprise!

Daisy August 29, 2014 at 7:19 am

Angela Bergeron–I would love that, too! My zucchini always gets zapped by something.

Virginia September 2, 2014 at 6:51 am

I love volunteer plants, too. I’ve harvested several banana squashes this year, and am about to pick several more. The plant has climbed over the fence into the front yard, covering a nandina shrub on its way. Three banana squashes are hanging there. More are on the dead front lawn. I think there is enough time for the newest of the squashes to mature before cold weather sets in. I also let a few pumpkin vines grow that were’t TOO much in the way. Several pumpkins already harvested with five more still maturing. Two tomato volunteers are starting to give fruit. And I see a few eggplants developing on one of two volunteer eggplants! All these volunteers came from my compost that got spread about the various garden beds. Many, many volunteer plants got euthanized as they were in a bed designated for something else. But the few lucky ones were spared. Or maybe I’m the lucky one! Look at the harvest I’m getting from freebies!

Daisy September 2, 2014 at 7:24 am

Virginia–You are lucky! Free pumpkins! And I’ve never had a volunteer eggplant. Nice.

Virginia September 2, 2014 at 7:50 am

I’ve had a couple eggplant volunteers in the past, but much too late to produce fruit before the cold set in. I’m pleased with this year’s volunteer garden! I grew several eggplants last year, and got overwhelmed with the amount of fruit. Gave a lot away, but then folks started turning down my offers of yet MORE eggplants. I guess one can only eat so much! So, several made it into the compost heap. I had a good 8 or 10 eggplant seedlings emerge this summer, and I kept 2 of them. So far, only one is acting like it wants to produce, but I think there is hope for the other one. So, I’ll let it live a while. I love to watch all the happenings in the garden. I guess I’m easily amused!

Virginia September 3, 2014 at 10:47 pm

Well, rats!!! Three of my front yard banana squashes got stolen today!!! The thief didn’t see the ones on the backside of the nandina bush. They are the oldest and most mature of the front yard volunteer squashes. I’ll pick them when I can see in the morning, and hopefully foil the thief. Oh, well. God knows about it. And, I must say, I’ll be eating squash of various types all winter anyway. I’ll just have fewer squashes to share…

Daisy September 4, 2014 at 5:37 am

Virginia–No! Do you think the thief was human?

Virginia September 4, 2014 at 7:45 am

Human? (Yes, if you can call him/her/them that.) Certainly no animal could have cut them from the vine so cleanly. Whoever took them had a knife or pruning shears, or something. I live in a town of about 120,000 population, and am on a busy corner. Folks of all types pass by- I’m hoping that at least someone who really NEEDED food took them–and there are a number of homeless folks that routinely pass through the area. I’m sure my squash & pumpkin plants have attracted attention as they climbed over the fence and sprawled over the yard. Some folks have even commented to me about them during their walks when they saw me puttering in the front yard.

Well, the thief/thieves can’t take any more unless they dare to come into the back yard via the gate or jump the fence. I picked the last of the mature front yard banana squashes this morning. One more very young one is out on the lawn. We’ll see if it develops. I still have 5 pumpkins on the side of the house (fenced in along with the back yard) that are whoppers! Two seem to be a cross between the standard large-sized (Big Ben?) pumpkin and the Atlantic Giant type. Probably not real fleshy for eating–more like the fall decorating kind. Nice and orangey, but not the standard pumpkin shape. The other three look like the ‘fairy-tale’ or Cinderella pumpkin, and those are good eating. Very fleshy (small seed cavity) and sweet. Of course, the banana squash tops them all for sweetness and creaminess! They make the best pumpkin pies! I may have lost three of those, but have harvested 8 of them regardless of theft! Not bad for my volunteers!

Daisy September 4, 2014 at 9:08 am

Virginia–Reminds me of this I saw years ago, not squash, but missing leeks:

Virginia September 4, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Daisy, thanks for the youtube link! Got a great laugh! I must say I can relate to the leek guy! We gardeners do take our stuff pretty seriously, don’t we!?

Too bad I don’t have a goat! But our little town won’t even allow a chicken! Imagine! in the very heart of our agricultural area–the Bread Basket of the World! I can’t have a couple of hens. Something is very wrong here!

But I am sure grateful for all I do have! Ain’t God good?!

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