I like gourds, but I don’t like them taking over the garden, which is what usually happens. So this year I built a trellis system from some 2×2 wood and moveable chicken wire fence panels to take the gourds up and over the western-most bed in the vegetable garden and create a hanging garden over the path next to it.

It’s only August, but it looks like it’s filling in quite well. It’s already spread 15 feet and there’s another 10 to fill in.

One benefit I hadn’t considered — the shade keeps the path and the bed closest to it 10 degrees cooler than in the sun. This time of year the area usually bakes in the sun, but this time it’s shady enough that it’s giving cover to lettuce, which I normally wouldn’t be able to grow this time of year.

The gourd garden from the east side. The shade makes it possible to grow lettuce in mid-summer here