Gardens and Gourds Newsletters - Nov 2006

Gourd Surprises!

That's what you get when you let volunteer plants grow. Last year I noticed some gourd plants starting to grow around the area I was using for a compost pile. I hadn't planned on growing gourds in that area and was using it to grow perennials for the nursery. But over the days I procrastinated about what to do, they grew so nice I hated to pull them. By then I could tell they were ornamental gourds. I figured they were going to be spoons or eggs.

One group did end up to be egg gourds that grew to a nice size. That was great but the ones that had me excited looked like a cross between an egg gourd and spoon gourd. I watched these grow all summer long, envisioning what I was going to do with them. Fall came and I ended up with a nice crop of beauties.

Not thinking, I left them outside to dry all winter. Spring came and when it was time to start seeds for this years crop of gourds, it came to me that I would want to try and grow some more of these. But was I going to get any to germinate? I really should have taken the nicest shapes in before they froze to make sure the seeds would be viable. Luckily at least one grew and I thought I would have a few to save seeds from this year. When I harvested the ornamentals there weren't many of these gourds so looks like I will have to try to get some to grow next year from my original crop. Oh well :(

But I bet you are anxious to see what I did with these unusual ornamentals? Keep reading and I will show you.

I wonder if you can see what I saw all last summer when I was watching these grow. One clue is that I do lots of Christmas ornaments.

If you guessed that I saw Santa Claus, then you guessed right. Let me show you how I used this gourd for Santa.

First I found the spot on the curvy neck that I would be right for the hanger. I drilled a small hole, knotted a loop of gold thread, used a dab of glue in the hole and pressed in the knot.

I painted the base colors.

This Santa will have a long coat instead of a jacket.

Then I started the detail.

For the trim around his hat and coat, I use Aleene's True Snow to give me some texture. I have an old paintbrush with stiff bristles sticking out and I use this to dab on the snow.

After everything was dry I used 3 coats of gloss polycrylic to seal them. People seem to like them shiny so that is what I use. Then I put a little pompom on the end of his hat.

Here is a snowman I did with my oddball gourds.

If you are looking for a gourd gift for your favorite gourdaholic and know they have a book on their list but you aren't sure which one, why not give them a Gift Certificateto Amazon so they can pick out the one they want. Gift Certificate

Recently on a gourd list I am on, there was talk of watercolor pens being used on gourds. They are called Bienfang Watercolor Brush Pens, blend easily and dry to a gloss finish. If you don't have an art supply store nearby, I found them at Dick Blicks online. - Online Art Supplies