Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Serendipity in the Garden

Some of the best gardening experiences are those that are unplanned and unexpected.

Last autumn I purchased a couple of ornamental pumpkins to display on the front walkway. When Christmas rolled around, I sat the pumpkin (still in good shape) next to the compost bin in the backyard. In Spring, I noticed a large-leafed vine was starting to creep along the ground. When it started to take over and attach itself to all the plants, I decided to hang it along the top of the fence.

It wasn't long before large yellow flowers began to appear.

Look at the size of this flower and leaf. You can use the fence posts in the background for comparison.

At first the flowers died and did not set fruit, but then  . . . I noticed a yellow fruit getting bigger and bigger.

It looks like a large lemon hanging on the fence (LOL)! And, I swear, everyday it gets BIGGER! 

I'm not sure if the vine can hold this pumpkin up until it ripens. I may have to add a support beneath it. Isn't it huge??? 
Every time I see it I have to laugh!!!

I absolutely love seeing the fence covered by this large-leafed vine, and am going to miss it when it's gone. The ginormous leaves look so lovely as they float face up atop the fence. Another positive is the squirrels don't like it there. It interrupts their ability to scamper at top speed along the fence line (ha-ha). 

I'm so glad I didn't pull it out when it was small. It feels like a Jack in the Beanstalk kind of vine as it meanders along. It has truly been a source of entertainment and delight ~ ~ it obviously doesn't take much to amuse me (LOL)!

 As you can see in the photo it has also set additional fruit. There are at least 5 pumpkins altogether. Hopefully, I'll get a couple to display for autumn. 

It grows at least a foot a day and has covered the south side of the fence and is also growing on the west side (pictured above). I just keep weaving it through the fence posts, and enjoying this unexpected, serendipitous, wonderful surprise in my backyard!!!


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

I think you better have a support system ready and one just came to mind. Some kind of netting that you can wrap around the pumpkin that will stretch as the pumpkin grows and hang from the fence. I don't know where that idea came from but maybe it will work.

Happy serendipitous gardening ~ FlowerLady

Susan said...

Lorraine, that is a great idea! Thanks for the advice.

ChrisC said...

How great is that?! I have absolutely no luck with squash of any type! But I keep trying....

Lynn McIntosh said...

Hi Susan! Wow! That is amazing - it's so wonderful and how fun to get such a big pumpkin. I love Lorraines idea of the stretch netting to hold it as it grows. I would have a hard time getting rid of the vine too...keep us updated please! :)

Anonymous said...

That would absolutely make my day! I had a half dozen pumpkin plants come up in a back bed from our compost. Tons of flowers, but not once did I see the tiniest sign of a pumpkin. That is so neat. I'd be going out there every day just to check on it. LOL

Leslie Kimel said...

Your pumpkin vine is so pretty. The leaves kind of remind me of waterlily leaves--they're so round and "floaty." The flowers are gorgeous too--such a beautiful golden yellow.

Susan said...

Thanks Chris, Lynn, Eli and Leslie for your comments. I've never had luck growing any type of vegetable on a vine, so it figures that this pumpkin did everything on its own. The only thing I can take credit for is hanging it on the fence. I'm am having luck with cucumbers this year, too. Maybe my luck is changing.

daisy g said...

What a wonderful surprise! It looks like a Calabaza, but maybe because it's still young?

I've heard of folks using pantyhose to cradle the fruit for support. I'm so envious of you having enough space for that to grow! I'm going to try to grow my Calabaza vertically, up an oak that died. We may have a pumpkin tree!

Mother Nature just wants things to grow, it doesn't matter if we plan it!
Enjoy your squash! It's so nice seeing other Florida bloggers on The Maple Hill Hop!

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

Such an amazing looking vine! Love the huge leaves and the way the pumpkin is hanging in midair from the vine, but best of all I love that someone has finally found a way to aggravate squirrels, as much as they aggravate us, without harming them.

Susan said...

Daisy - I definitely would not have had space on the ground. Nature just showed me that I can grow vines - they just have to go up!!! Going to try cucumbers in the fall.

Hi Susie - I, too, get pleasure out of aggravating the squirrels. They have to travel slowly and in some places go around the thick leaves. It makes me smile when I watch them!!

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