For the Love of Gardening: Jack and His Beanstalk

Diane Gibson
Gourds are considered by Diane Gibson in her "For the Love of Gardening" column in the July 30 Galva News.

Jack has nothing on me this year, except mine is gourds – not beans.

Because we had to tear out all our plants in our north foundation bed last year, everything in this bed had to be started fresh.

My husband had given a tall metal tree to me a few years ago and it was also reinstalled. I’ve always planted a few vining annuals and this year decided to include a perennial clematis. It’s sitting there establishing its root system and not doing much. To quickly cover the metal tree, I planted a few gourd plants.

With the large amount of rain, it’s the year for water-loving gourds. They quickly climbed the 10-foot tree and have reached for the sky. It’s a daily task to take reaching and winding stems and reposition over the tree. Otherwise, they reach for anything where they can climb and twine – like the shutters, bushes and other flowers in the bed.

For those of you who have never planted gourds, they are bee magnets. Without the bees, they wouldn’t pollinate and I’d have no gourds.