Gourd Vases

Step-by-step guide for a lovely gourd vase

By Ken Druse

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Michael Russo, a retired art teacher, has been arranging flowers for weddings, parties, and special events for several years, growing many of the blossoms in his organic flowerbeds. Freshly harvested gourds are often featured in his autumn bouquets, either as vases or as elements in the arrangements. Michael explains how to craft a temporary gourd vase:

Gourd seeds are often sold in mixed-variety packets that yield an astounding array of surprises. Choose a gourd that will be stable when sitting on a tabletop.

1. Cut an opening in the top (or in the side of a "reclining" gourd). Size the opening to accommodate a small jar, which may be necessary to make the gourd waterproof.
2. Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, remove the seeds and fibers from the cavity.

3. Arrange flowers in the gourd. Place a loose ball of chicken wire or a needle frog inside the gourd, if desired, to hold flower stems in place.
4. To include tiny gourds among the flowers, push the pointed end of a wooden grilling skewer into a gourd, then cut the skewer to an appropriate length. 'Tennessee Spinning' gourds are shown.
5. Add the skewered gourds to the bouquet.

Originally published in Organic Gardening Magazine, Oct/Nov 2013

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