Shows & Events
Celebrating Native Azaleas
Native species will dominate the seminars and tours in this year's convention of the Azalea Society of America, scheduled for June 14 to 17 at the University of North Carolina in Asheville. Register early, because programs are filling up fast. Call (828) 697-9959 for more information.
Favorite or New Plant
Growing the large-vined and fruited dipper gourds is fun, but if your garden is small, you might try growing one of my favorite gourds, egg, or nest egg, gourd. Judging from the foliage, flowers, and fast maturity of the plants, egg gourds are closely related to ornamental gourds-- the cucurbit type with multicolored and warted fruits. However, smooth-shelled egg gourds dry to light tan and become hollow inside, so the cured gourds could pass for miniature Lagenaria gourds-- long-season gourds that grow into bulbs, bats, and birdhouse gourds.
Egg gourds are easy to grow from seed planted in any sunny spot, and they love to climb a chain-link fence. Let fruits develop, mature, and dry on the vine, then bring them indoors before the first frost. On some cold winter night spend a few hours painting the prettiest, biggest, longest-lasting gourds for holiday decorations.