Friday, August 5, 2011


I am marveling at my winter squash:  C. pepo 'Sweet Dumpling' and C. maxima 'Uchiki Kuri'

I always get excited when plants in my garden do something dramatic, and right now my winter squash are growing wildly large. I marvel every day at their growth. They remind me of the enormous perennial, Giant Japanese Butterbur (Petasites japonicus 'Giganteus', although they aren't quite that huge.

I read an article about summer squash in my favorite garden magazine (Gardens Illustrated) and had to have some. In large part it was the images of the various colors and forms of the winter squash that made them so interesting, but now that I am actually growing them the vitality and sheer size of the plants are giving me a thrill. The fruits are going to be a bonus. The gardener featured in the article echoed my feelings when she said, " continues to amaze me how something so beautiful and bountiful can emerge from a single little seed."

These are not your typical Acorn and Butternut varieties. I was lucky to have found several of the more unusual selections mentioned in the article in the seed catalog Seeds of Change. It was already June, but I figured I still had the requisite ninety to one hundred growing days to get them to maturity. I bought two varieties, Uchiki Kuri and Sweet Dumpling. I noticed last night (4 August) fruits were already forming on Sweet Dumpling.

An important part of the joy of gardening is the excitement over the new and unexpected. To get that excitement I usually have to take some risks by delving into the unpredictable and unfamiliar. I may not always have the tidiest home garden, but I don't lack for joy.