Coastal and Tropical South
American Gourd Society
If you want to know how to make a million things out of gourds, check this American Gourd Society site. State associations and national meetings offer classes, speakers, competitions, and amazing displays of gourds both historic and contemporary. Their cautions and tips on avoiding the dust and mold commonly found on dried gourds are wise advice.
Clever Gardening Technique
Garden centers often display a tall hibiscus with a big round head of leaves and flowers atop braided stems, and yes, you can make one. Use rooted cuttings, or buy three plants less than 10 inches tall. Take each plant out of its pot and remove all but the top four leaves. In one large pot, plant all three as close together as possible and braid the green stems together. Continue this process as the canopy grows, removing leaves as needed to braid six rounds. At that point, growth should be stifled along the stems but encouraged in the canopy. A sunny deck is perfect for this project, and the result will be appreciated as a gift or centerpiece.