Gourds & Zucchini Are Cousins

In honor of my recent children’s gardening book, Zack’s Zany Zucchiniland, I’ve added a page to my website on decorating gourds: http://www.sandybakerwriter.com/Gourds.html. Yes, gourds and zucchini are cousins. It’s a wild family, pushy, aggressive, one you must keep your eye on: the cucurbits, including cucumbers, pumpkins, melons, squash, and gourds. You gotta give ’em space. They take over, as Zack gleefully found out. Most of the family are edible, but gourds are mainly ornamental.   They beg to be decorated. Their skin can be mottled or plain. They can look like bottles, snakes, chubby poofs, schmoos, flattened canteens, whatever your creative mind says to you. And they’re fun to work with artistically. You do not have to be an “artist” to produce a beautiful gourd–just imagination and some materials you likely already have around. Zack didn’t decorate his gourds. In fact, I’m not sure what he did with them. Ultimately, it was the zucchinis that proved important to him. Besides, I like the alliteration: Zack and his zany zucchini lived on Zebra Street in Zootown. The one on the left was a chubby bottle-shaped gourd whose top I sawed off. After drilling 1/8″ holes all around the top, I rubbed it with a creamy cordovan shoe polish  and then sprayed it with clear polyurethane. You can see that I then used a strip of deerskin to attach feathers, shells, beads, and bone–all found materials–to the edge. What’s it for? It’s a bowl of sorts. I’ve put chips, sourdough slices, nuts, and folded napkins in it. Mostly, it sits on the bookshelf. Decorating gourds is fun, easy, and exceptionally gratifying. You can plant and grow gourds yourself or perhaps buy them at farmers’ markets. Either way, you’ll be proud of your decorated gourds and become more imaginative with each successive one you do. You’ll be a gourd artist!  Zack and I will be proud!


About writersandy

Writer, Gardener, Crafter
This entry was posted in Children's Gardening Book, Crafts and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Gourds & Zucchini Are Cousins

  1. Great post! There was a gourd decorator at the Missouri State Fair. I took photos and they will be on my forth post about the fair…

  2. writersandy says:

    I love the state fairs when they have the gourd artists. They always give me ideas for mine. But I’m such an amateur. I have a page on my website devoted to gourd decorating. People are amazed at what can be done.

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