If you’re looking to add a little fun and whimsy to your garden this year consider growing a few birdhouse gourds.
Last year we grew about ten vines and were blessed with an abundance of fruit.
Once they reached maturity and the vines began to wither and turn brown, we collected the gourds and placed them in the attic of our barn for the winter.
Over the past few months the lime green skin of the gourds has molded and shrunk away leaving a hard, weather proof exterior.
To turn the gourds into birdhouses, we simply drilled a hole in the large bulbus bottom using a hole cut drill bit. The interior has fibrous sections that can be pushed back if they happen to be blocking the entrance hole. You can leave the seeds, I’ve heard the birds will eat them as they clear space to make room for a nest.
Then we sanded any bits of dry, flaky skin to smooth the surface of the gourd.
Then drilled a hole for hanging.
I left the bits of curly stem as added character.
You can leave them as is, or seal with a stain or clear coat. They can even be painted.
I decided to use some stain we had lying around from an earlier project. I think it helped enhance the contrasting pattern of the gourd and almost gives it a pottery look.
Birdhouse gourds make wonderful presents to the gardener or bird lover in your life. I plan on giving one to my mom as a Mother’s Day present.
To see what else we have growing, visit our farm blog at Iron Oak Farm.