Monday, October 12, 2009

Gourd-jus Centerpiece

The first time we visited the farmer's market in Dallas, TX, I bought my first gourd. Man, I loved that gourd!!! I had always wanted one...and had never before seen anyone selling them. After picking up each and every gourd in the display, I finally chose "the perfect" one. I used it in my fall decor and always thought I would paint it to look like Santa. This one gourd was the center of my fall tablescapes for many years. (I have no idea why I never bought more gourds...)

This little gourd moved with me to Florida, and once again it was pressed into service. That is until that "demon dog" Hurley decided to jump up onto the table and tear apart the tablescape...and the gourd while I was working at the 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk for my company. Now mind you, Hurley was about 8 months old and maybe 12 pounds, but she had a vertical leap of 4 feet! My friend and I stopped by the house so she could see it...and there was the gourd...all 2000 pieces! I cried... As much as I wanted another gourd, or 2 or 3, I never saw them at the markets around me.

That is, until we drove past Mark's Pumpkin Patch in Dawson (Sasser), GA. What a cool place this is! We first discovered Mark's on the way to Auburn to take our eldest son to start his first year at Auburn. (In August, Mark's was called Mark's Melon Patch. They sold the sweetest watermelons and the juiciest peaches I have ever tasted.) This wonderful place has become a "have to" stop on our way back to FL...from each and every football weekend we attend at Auburn.

Last fall, on our way back to Palm Harbor from a football weekend in Alabama, we stopped at Mark's. What a cool place!!! Not only was the ground covered with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, there were mounds of gourds...fields of sunflowers...patches of zinnias...stalks of corn and cotton...pecans...peanuts (and boiled peanuts)...jars of all sorts of preserves, jams, jellies, pickles, etc... and the BEST
fried apple pies I have EVER tasted. Being the good guy he is, Mr. M. gave me as long as I needed to explore the market. And he was such a good sport, that I left Mark's with 2 peanut sacks filled with gourds of all shapes and sizes.

Now being a woman with great vision, I could picture these gourds cleaned, cut, painted, etc. and used as Christmas gifts for my family and friends. Oh, I had such plans for them...

And as usual, I never got around to cleaning those bags of gourds. However, I did clean the 2 BIG guys that now grace my dining room table. I love these gourds...even more than the first. They are so big, they fill the table with beauty all on their own.

Here's a brief peek at my "centerpiece" gourds. Resting on a nest of fall leaves (fake, of course...we don't see color here until December). The tall candlesticks are from Steinmart...the tealight holders are Crate and Barrel.

Now, mind you, this is just a "peek"...before I run out the door to Mt. Dora. We're readying the shop for its GRAND OPENING. When I return...the completed table will be posted and I'll post photos of the chaos of opening a store.

Have a fabulous week...

Please visit Susan at for Outdoor Wednesday and Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. There are always great things to see each week, thanks to our wonderful hostesses and all our fellow bloggers.


erin's art and gardens said...

hi! i sure hope the doggie doesn't destroy your cute table! i too love gourds and believe it or not they are quite easy to grow and last forever (depending on the dog situation) lol !

One Shabby Old House said...

Hope all goes well for you this weekend. How exciting. Can't wait to see the pictures of the place and are they ever lucky to have you there to help. I know that whatever you put your hands to will be stunning.

Bama Belle said...

LOVE that!

Mary Bergfeld said...

That one large gourd looks jsut like a pear :-). I love your pictures. Have a great day.

Moore Minutes said...

I always, always love reading your stories on your blog. You have a special way with words...even the way you write your comments touches my heart each time. :)

I want your centerpiece and gourds!! It is perfect!

Also, would you help me win a necklace pretty please? It would mean so much to me if you would leave a quick comment on this post I have pasted below...if I get the most comments, I win. :) Thank you!

jmac said...

You know I'm new around here. What kind of store are you opening? Or just point me to some posts talking about it!!
and you know my LSU tigers are coming after you Auburn folks next week....altho since Fl creamed us, ya'll may not be worried!!!

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

What gorgeous gourds. Good luck this w/k. Looking forward to hearing all about it. Thanks so much for swinging by to say hello. You always leave the sweetest comments.. hugs ~lynne~

Stine in Ontario said...

The gourds do make lovely fall decorations. I didn't realize you ould keep them for many years.

Moore Minutes said...

Jane, thank you SO much for leaving a comment on la dolce vita featured post. I TRULY do appreciate it. I know I've already told you this, but I tuck your words into my heart. You have blessed me. Thank you.

Troy said...

Hi Jane,
Thanks for stopping by my blog.

That sounds like the most absolutely fun place to visit, I wonder if I could convince my wife that we needed to drive from Michigan to Florida, just to visit Mark's shop.

I hope your Grand Opening is successful. said...