Glorious Gourds...and pumpkins!

October 1, 2020

Welcome October!

This is one of my favorite months out of the year and to me, the epitome of fall. We still get to enjoy some warm sunny days along with crisp cool nights, the leaves are changing, apples are ripe for picking and pumpkins and gourds are appearing everywhere. I finally understand what my father meant when he said to us kids… “Use your gourd!”

 

Pumpkins, gourds and squashes are wonderful, long lasting and sometimes truly bizarre and beautiful gifts of nature that make great décor items for your home, workplace or event. Of course the most famous of them is the traditional orange pumpkin used for carving and pumpkin pie. (BTW, I make a mean pumpkin pie!) But for our purposes here, we are going to skip right past your typical Jack-O-Lantern type pumpkin(though we do love them!) and explore some more usual and unique varieties and décor ideas.

 

Photo: Better Homes & Gardens

Growing up in the Midwest, one of my favorite things was to go to the garden center to search for that perfect pumpkin to carve into whatever I had planned for that Halloween. Nowadays, I get to go to the wholesale flower market and search through all the unusual varieties of pumpkins and gourds from local growers throughout the area. My favorites are the olive and sage green pumpkins, the pale dusty orange and peach beauties along with the ‘Ghost’ pumpkin.

 

Photo: Martha Stewart Living.

They make a beautiful, elegant and sophisticated centerpiece when gathered together and placed down the center of your table along with other coordinating fall botanicals and perhaps some candles. I just love the monochromatic color scheme.

Photo: One Kindesign

Photo: Country Living

You can also line them up on your mantle along with some bittersweet vine and some seasonal foliage woven in and around them.

Photo: Midwest Living

 

Pumpkins under glass anyone?!

 

Photo: Marth Stewart Living

Here at Botanica we love to turn pumpkins into vases for fun, whimsical centerpieces. Just carve out an area large enough to hold a small glass vessel or use a small piece of floral foam inserted into the opening.

One nice thing about these is that they don’t take a lot of flowers or foliage to fill them. Go foraging in your yard for late blooming flowers, colorful foliage, seed pods and other interesting items.

If you would prefer someone else to do the work for you, we have them available on our online store while supply lasts. https://www.botanicafloralpdx.com/products/le-petite-citrouille

 

For all you DIY’ers, here is another fun vase idea.

Photo: Better Homes & Garden

 

 

Small gourds make fun seasonal candle holders. Just drill out a hole large enough to fit a tea light or votive candle. You can also use tapers. Just make sure that you choose gourds with a flat bottom or top(you can turn it upside down) so they don’t fall over. And when you are done with them, just compost them.

If warts are your thing then you are in luck! There are many pumpkin and gourd varieties that arrive warts and all!

 

When I was a kid 'google' had a totally different meaning, as in googly eyes! Now who can resist this gang of goofball gourds?! You can get various sizes of googly eyes online or at your local craft store or you can make them out of cardstock or ping pong balls. Just attach to them to your gourds, your plants, perhaps you dog’s butt or your sibling. Just kidding about the dog.

Photo: Kelli Crowe

 

 Now that I have inspired you to explore the world of cucurbits go get creative and enjoy using 'your gourd(s')!