Autumn Gourds

Here is a sampling of the gourds that were used Saturday as table décor at the party my daughter and son-in-law hosted to celebrate their recent marriage. It was a beautiful Colorado fall day and friends and family (four generations!) from across the country were there to congratulate the young couple.

Anyway, to my horticultural embarrassment, I could not remember the difference between a squash and a gourd! Webster’s dictionary (my Dad’s collegiate edition from 1951 is on my desk---the fastest “search engine” in the world for concise information!) quickly set me straight: a gourd is any plant in the genus Cucurbita including melon, squash and pumpkin, and also the hard shelled bottle gourd, Lagenaria vulgaris. I’ve always loved gourds for their huge variety of odd forms, textures, and colors. To me, gourds are Autumn!

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