Autumn Gourds by mistake via grocery!
Hi, newbie here. Sorry if this is already 'old business' with this forum, but I had a wonderful, yet odd story to share. I live in East-Central Indiana. We have lots of gourds, melons, etc. to choose from in the fall, but they can be expensive as they become 'more' exotic-looking -- so I generally buy one or two and that's it! Well, TWO years ago, my 7 year-old son talked me into buying a small net container full of 'decorative gourds' just ' cause they looked like fun to him.
The gourds kinda got passed around to different locations inside and outside our house over the next few months. They eventually dried out -- you could hear the seeds rattling -- and I got tired of looking at them, so I tossed them into an area that we were still working on at the back of our water garden. We have lotsa birds around, so I figured the birds and squirrels might find something more useful with these dried gourds instead of my just sticking them in our covered composter.
Well, that spring... while I was attacking some poison ivy... I noticed some 'melon-looking' shoots breaking ground against the brick wall where I had tossed the dried gourds in the snow back in January or February. Curious, I let them continue their growth... and by the middle of summer, I had only one vine left -- but that vine was about 10-12 foot long and happily growing through and around purple coneflowers, clematis, black-eyed susan, and several other plants that had established a place against that western-facing wall years before!!!
In no time, this one vine was covered in blooms also! By now, I was beyond curious about what was actually growing there, so I let it be. Aside from cutting the occasional tendril from another plant in its path, I really didn't give the vine any attention -- except for calling it the alien vine because one of its tendrils wrapped around and suspended one of my son's toy soldiers! But, with pretty much no intervention on my part... those dried out gourds had worked themselves into the soil, found the nutrients they needed and seemed to have been quite happy with the damp, but sunny location.
Just in time for Halloween last year, we had tons of gourds to give away and to decorate our home!! And, the very odd thing was, the base of the vine was incredibly thick -- three inches maybe? -- but many different looking vines had branched off from this one main stalk. And, on this ONE vine we had goose-neck gourds, stripy gourds, mottled gourds, small pumpkin gourds, etc.... seriously... nobody could believe it until they saw it themselves. I don't know if this is common, or if I should be having my yard checked for plutonium or something!?
But, we didn't toss any dried gourds in the snow this year, so nothing came back up this spring from our alien vine. I guess I'll have to buy another gourd variety package come September and try the experiment again! Any ideas of how these different gourds could 'mesh' and successfully produce from ONE MAIN vine? I'm aware of grafting, but I did not do that in this situation... so, what could have happened?