You can grow gourds - they are splendid plants that vine up and take over areas, creating a wonderful shield from sunlight for your porch or garden. You can also find gourds in the stores in the autumn that helps to give you another already dried and prepared vessel.
I am growing birdhouse gourds all over my cowboy scarecrow in the garden. I'll be sure to share pics when the gourds appear. Rather ironic having a scarecrow growing birdhouses...
But, there are lots of gorgeous things you can make out of gourds!
You can let the vines die off and let the gourds remain and dry there. I tend to cut them at full size and bring them into the garage to let them age and dry over time. They get wonderful speckling and look to them. No need to open them up until they are nice and brown and when you shake them, you hear the seeds rattle around. Keep the seeds. Enjoy the gourd.
I have plans for garden sculpture/art and am aging some to keep the natural brown tones for a cool garden feature I'll share in the future.
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