My husband has an obsession. Just a little one really. He is fascinated with growing pumpkins. Not the so-big-it-breaks-a-record kind, but he loves the ones that are perfectly rounded with thick, green stems. And I have to admit, I don't mind it at all. If I have to use garden space for something other than salsa ingredients, fruit and corn, then by all means, have it be for something I don't have to keep a vigilant watch against weeds. Pumpkins are great--they grow all season and are ready at the start of fall for picking, I don't have to do a lot of canning (canning pie pumpkin is difficult, so I stick with freezing the pumpkin puree), and best of all they become my unique go-to fall decorations I don't have to store all year.
In about a week, I'm in charge of decorating some dessert tables for a large gathering. My first thought was of the bounteous harvest of gourds my daughter and I had just picked out of the garden. We had purchased seeds for a variety of daisy gourds and flower gourds (my new favorite!), as well as wee-be-little pumpkins, so we have a unique mix of them. After thoroughly washing and drying them, a light coat of lacquer was sprayed over them to give them a glossy shine. Once dry in a ventilated area, they were ready to use. Take a look at these gorgeous gourds: