...and not just because it's my BIRTHDAY (15th October if you must know)
This year I have this lovely bumper crop of knobbly, warty gourds
I'm taking Mark Diacono's book 'A Tast of the Unexpected' to bed with me every night and dreaming of mulberries and szechuan pepper (amongst other things). It's quite the most sumptuous and inspiring thing I've read since Jilly Cooper's Riders which made me want to put on jodhpurs ....well, this makes me want to cavort with carolina allspice...sorry to be bossy but you really should buy it, like, immediately. Mark blogs here with something magical that makes you giggle and cry all at once...I defy you not to go back for more.
Timing: Late Spring/early summer
All you need do is go out an choose a packet of gourd seeds that you love. You need fertile soil and a sunny, sheltered site.
Just sow your seeds 2cm deep and three at a time, under an up-ended jam-jar and choose the best one to grow on. My advice is just to let your gourd gallop.
I love the way they climb over everything, growing their enormous leaves, clothing and covering everything in their path.
Leave the fruits on the plant for as long as possible before the first frosts. I've cut mine off early this year because its so wet and I don't want any rottage. Actually, I think it matters not one jot. Just cut them whenever you fancy, along with a length of stem and bring them indoors to display to your heart's content.