• Last modified 1741 days ago (Oct. 9, 2014)


'Gourdzilla' devours flower bed

Staff writer

It devoured an entire flowerbed, part of a lawn, and spawned 196 gourds at the home of Amy and Tim Richmond in the otherwise sleepy town of Marion.

Although one may wonder if an enormous snarl of ornamental gourd plants dubbed “Gourdzilla” is the result of an atomic experiment gone wrong, the source of this monstrous growth was something far less sinister.

Youthful curiosity.

While the Richmonds’ daughter, Cameron White, a Marion Middle School seventh grade student, was playing outside last spring, a couple of ornamental gourds left from the previous season intrigued her.

“The gourds were broken, and she was dissecting them out of curiosity,” Amy Richmond said. “As the weather turned into summer, we began pulling weeds out of one the flower beds. It wasn’t long before we realized they were gourd plants.”

Cameron and her mother let the gourd plants grow, and grow the plants did — rapidly in fact — so fast that they had to install two trellises to handle the increasing size of the gourd vine miasma.

“Before long it had ‘eaten’ the entire flower bed, some of the yard, covering the entire side of the garage, and the majority of the driveway,” Amy said. “This is when we gave it the name ‘Gourdzilla’ because it appeared to be eating up our entire yard.”

Cameron and her mother said they would sing “Grow Grow Gourdzilla” to the same melody as the Blue Oyster Cult song titled “Go Go Godzilla.”

They said they had fun watching it grow, especially when all gourds began to form with their different shapes, sizes, colors, and textures.

On Sunday, Cameron invited her cousin, Marion sixth grader Preston Schneider over to help crop the gourds.

Preston’s mom, Paige Brunner, also helped in the harvest the gourds and remove vines.

As they progressed, they cleaned the gourds and placed them in a wagon, marveling at the amount, they decided to tally up their plunder.

At 196 gourds, they came in just shy of a cool 200.

Since Sunday, the Richmond’s have decorated their yard with gourds and shared them with family. They also plan to plant some of Gourdzilla’s progeny next year.

Last modified Oct. 9, 2014