Gourd can­dle hold­ers

Gardens Illustrated Magazine - - Garden Lighting -

I had the slight mis­for­tune to grow an enor­mous crop of gourds last year when I would rather have grown pump­kins. Some­how seed got mud­dled but a year on, th­ese hard-skinned gourds were hol­low­ing them­selves out and get­ting rather in­ter­est­ing, speck­led-egg-like mark­ings. Some were still or­ange and fleshy, but were eas­ily carved out, and the re­sult was per­fect nat­u­ral tea-light hold­ers.

To make To hol­low out the gourds, cut the tops off (I used a small toothed hack­saw) and carve out as you would with a pump­kin, then drill holes around the cir­cum­fer­ence to let ex­tra light spill out. A group of the gourds and gourd ‘cups’ in a large glass jar, bri­dled with cop­per wire, made a lantern hang­ing from the oak tree but I saved a sin­gle spot­ted gourd, like a rare spec­i­men, for a jar of its own. For this one I used a beeswax can­dle for il­lu­mi­na­tion. By at­tach­ing gourd cups to the tops of sturdy sticks (see left) you have an al­ter­na­tive to gar­den flares for light­ing a path. Just make an ex­tra hole in the base of the gourd cup and a pi­lot hole in top of the stick, then at­tach them to­gether with a screw. Warm­ing to the aes­thetic of a botan­i­cal col­lec­tion, I made sin­gle fronds of fern into rings, us­ing florist’s wire, to dress the tops of the sticks, and mul­ti­ple fronds for the base and the neck of the jars.

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