A Surprise in my Garden

Now that we’re well into fall, I’ve been getting the garden ready for winter little by little. As I have time, I trim and clear the flower beds of dried stems and leaves so they’ll look a little neater over winter. As I was clearing one bed recently, I saw what looked like part of a cantaloupe under the leaves of another bushy plant. How would a cantaloupe get in my flower bed? I wondered. When I cleared away some of the growth covering this strange object, I discovered that it was indeed a nice round little cantaloupe still attached to the vine! I didn’t plant any cantaloupe seeds in my garden-I actually have tried to grow melons before, but with no success. So it must have grown from seeds in my compost pile. All year long, I continue to add coffee grounds, fresh fruit and vegetable scraps (including seeds), and plant clippings to the compost pile in my yard. This spring, I had a nice amount of rich, moist compost to spread around my flower beds. And without me realizing it, this cantaloupe vine had started growing in one of the beds, mostly hidden by other bigger plants. What a fun surprise! I felt a little sense of accomplishment as I picked the melon off the vine in my garden, even though I hadn’t really done anything to cause it to grow. So, I am resolving next year to try growing melons again!

In case you’re wondering what those other cuttings are in the basket, they are blooms from my garlic chive plants that are in the process of drying out. In the fall, I collect the seeds from the dried chive blooms. I plant these the following spring to grow more chive plants and also give the seeds to friends who plant them in their yards. Chives are so easy to grow and it’s great to have them growing all summer long so you can use them fresh when you cook and bake things! Finely chopped chives are also good mixed in cream cheese or scrambled eggs. Here’s a close-up of the chive bloom–those little black rounded shapes in the upper right of the photo are the seeds…

I haven’t cut open the cantaloupe yet…I want to admire it a little longer before I do! 🙂

6 thoughts on “A Surprise in my Garden

  1. aimee

    What a wonderful surprise to find! Those are so yummy. I’ve not had any luck growing those in our garden. I am sure it will be delicious!!


  2. Denise

    Hi Nancy.
    Compost pile surprises must happen often. We put compost in our garden, and lo, and behold, a butternut squash came up and took over our back yard. We harvested at least twenty butternut squash! I hope your cantaloupe is nice and sweet.

    P.S. I’ll take some chive seeds if there are any left over.


    1. nancyc Post author

      I remember you talking about the squash–I didn’t realize you ended up with twenty!! That was a nice surprise!
      I’ll be sure to save you some seeds, and give them to you in the next few weeks!


  3. sue

    As the summer was winding down, a tomato plant began to grow, from my compost pile. It is a Roma tomato plant and the darn thing has about 7 little tomatoes growing on it. Now, it is just not going to make it, cause this is Maine and tomatoes need a long growing season. But, I admire the tenacity of seeds. I had little tomato shoots growing in my flowers last summer, they had grown from my compost. I also had a nicotiana plant grow from seeds that had fallen about 2 years ago. It grew in a crack between the garden wall and the driveway. Plants do have a mind of their own, don’t they? I hope that cantalope is the best you have ever eaten.


    1. nancyc Post author

      I’ve also had some tomato plants sprout up in my flowers beds a few times-they always seem to do it near the end of the summer season and never produce much, if any, ripe tomatoes. Too bad they don’t start sprouting for us in the spring! Being in Maine, you are probably enjoying some beautiful autumn color there now! Thanks so much for visiting my blog! 🙂



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