Apr 10, 2014

Birhouse Gourds - also for the birds

Last year, I planted bird house gourds along our only open section of fence, and aside from scattering some wild flower seed, it was the only bit of planting I did.  

Apparently, they liked the location.  They grew beautifully climbing along the fence with such vigor that my neighbor told me her husband thought that we'd planted Kudzu on the fence.  After assuring her that the vines were not Kudzu, but rather Birdhouse gourds, she was relieved.  Not wanting to be a bad neighbor, I would sneak into their yard when they weren't home to coax the vines back on our side, and cut back the pesky bits that didn't want to cooperate.  

By fall,I had about 10 nice sized gourds which I set aside to dry.  My inexperience with the drying process led to a few issues with moldy gourds that had to be tossed, so by Winter, I was down to 6.  The first sunny days of spring, I scrubbed the gourds clean and cut holes in them with a hole saw.   Most fared well, but one broke, giving me a nice opportunity to turn it into a scoop for potting mix.

Next, I painted the gourds with white exterior paint to reflect the hot summer sun so baby birds don't cook. 

On a whim, I decorated 3 of them.  I'm not sure they'll attract any birds, but at least they're nice to look at.


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