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Sara Draycott

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Fancy a look at our knobbly veg?

Posted by Sara Draycott on 03 Aug 2010 at 01:20 PM

Hedgehogs, woolly bears, tiny mice and a sinouous snake.  These are all types of gourd or cucurbit that we are growing at Wisley this summer.   

 

 

 

Growing your own veg is very popular right now, and there are people nationwide (including Wisley) wondering what to do with a glut of courgettes right now.  Courgettes are a type of cucurbit, as are pumpkins, cucumbers, melons, gherkins and winter squash like the ever popular butternuts.  Most of these are smooth skinned, but if you've ever grown outdoor cucumbers you may have noticed a few prickles.  

 

 

 

Plants are fascinatingly diverse and cucurbits come in many forms, with many uses, not just for eating.  You may have grown ornamental gourds for indoor decorations, and you might well scrub your back with a loofah.  A loofah?  This one isn't knobbly, but we have some growing that you can come and learn about how this vegetable ends up as a bathroom utensil.

 

 

 

Our display of exotic cucurbits is now open in the polytunnel behind The Honest Sausage at the Orchard Café. (They're in a polytunnel because these ones need a little extra protection to perform well in this country.) For the enthusiast, the display also includes a range of grafted vegetables including tomatoes and cucumbers, and other tender crops such as okra and sweet potatoes. 

 

If you can't make it to Wisley in person, you may be able to catch up with it when BBC Gardeners World covers it later this month.    

 

(p.s. if you have a glut of courgettes why not try frying them gently in some butter with some garlic, a sprinkling of mustard seeds and a couple of dollops of english mustard - beautiful with peppered mackerel and new potatoes!)

 

Comments

Fiona Wheeler said:

Wow fantastic! I must get over and see them. Is it likely that they will be for sale as I am seeking out unusual pumpkins, squash and gourds to paint as part of a collection of botanical paintings i'm undertaking  

on 11 Aug 2010 at 12:19 PM

Fiona Wheeler said:

Wow fantastic, I must get over and see these. Is it likely that they will be for sale as I am seeking unusual pumpkins, squash to paint as part of a collection of botanical paintings I'm undertaking. Many thanks!  

on 11 Aug 2010 at 12:28 PM