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Instead of the Dishes » Garden, Go Green » Garden Surprises

Garden Surprises

Fall is officially here, so it seems a bit odd to be posting about the garden, but it appears that this year’s garden is a late bloomer, so to say.

The first garden surprise is the fact that we even have a garden.  It was in the long-term plan, but I had resolved that it would not be happening this year due to the new business craziness. But, then Craig decided to build a garden, and when Craig decides something, there’s really no turning back.

So, we built a mega-square-foot-garden.  Well, mostly Craig built it.  I just mixed up dirt and moved it around with a shovel.  And of course, we still had our compost bin and our rain barrel from our garden in Little Rock.

backyard square foot gardenAs you can see, after all the work on building the garden, it was late in the season, so we only planted one of the eight 4ftx4ft beds.  We planted green beans, carrots, herbs, and a thornless blackberry bush, which was enough to keep the kids entertained.

picking green beans in the garden



Meanwhile, in the pile of dirt that resulted from digging up the yard for the garden beds, Carina noticed something popping up that looked like a volunteer zucchini.  So we let it grow.  And it got bigger, and bigger!

little zucchini

I started to notice that the leaves looked a little funny and the vines weren’t trailing out as much as our last zucchini plant.  And then the flowers started blooming, and they seemed really big for a zucchini plant, and were growing on these weird tall stems.

pumpkin flowers

And then fruit started to form.  At first it looked like this:

pumpkin 909

I thought, ok, there’s a cute little zucchini forming.  It looks like a little green gnome with a pointy cap! It grew, and grew.  We got a lot of rain one week, and when things finally dried out, I found this (table spoon for scale):

small green pumpkinI still was not sure what it was.  I wondered if our volunteer plant was some kind of Monsanto monster, or maybe a space alien (both are kind of the same thing). Three weeks later, it looks like this:

pumpkin 106

So, my best guess is that this is a pumpkin plant, although there is not a speck of orange on either of the two pumpkins that are growing off of the vine. (If you have any other ideas on what this might be, let me know!) The kids are really excited to pick our two pumpkins and add them to our Halloween display. This is one of the things I love about gardening – the exciting, mysterious, and fruitful surprises that happen where you least expect!

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6 Responses to "Garden Surprises"

  1. Sarah Nord says:

    Garden looks great! We had a tomato bumper crop this year, but nothing else did very well. We need to take some gardening tips from you!

  2. Fawn says:

    I have never been able to do tomatoes well, so maybe we can swap ideas!

  3. I am in perpetual awe of anyone who can keep anything plant-based alive for more than a day. May I send my children to you to learn how to grow things? Otherwise, I’ve got to find a good training video somewhere. 😛

  4. Fawn says:

    Ha! Yes, come for a weekend field trip! I would recommend starting with bush beans. They are easy, fun, and tasty! Also, check out square foot gardening – it’s an easy way to start a garden in a small space that is kid-friendly.

  5. Gina P. says:

    That giant mystery fruit looks like a “Moon and Stars Watermelon”.

  6. Gina P. says:

    ..without the moon and stars hahaha

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