I'm a sucker for oddball plants. A few years ago I was given a dusty old box of seed packets that a friend found in an abandoned house. He immediately thought of me when he spied it....It's nice to have friends. Surprisingly, the seeds were not heirlooms, but mostly hybrids. And of course, they were expired. But that didn't faze me, what drew my attention was the plethora of unique seed varieties in the box.
Like this oddball Eightball Zucchini. I grew it last year for the first time, and to my surprise, it did exactly what it was supposed to do--grow a zucchini that looked like an eightball. It even had a white circle with an 8 in the middle! Just kidding. But you never know about hybrids these days....
Truthfully, it was a nice little compact plant with perfectly round zucchinis on it. I found them cute and very tasty, so this year I grew it again.
This time I planted it in my old washer tub inside the greenhouse. I wasn't sure what to expect, since I don't normally have anything growing inside during the summer--too hot in there. To my delight, it flourished, flowered, and even fruited. I guess those pollinating insects found their way inside just fine. Probably because I left the doors wide open.
The only curious thing that happened was that the normally compact plant started to vine. I figured it was overwhelmed with the heat and was making a desperate attempt to escape. If that was the case, it was unsuccessful. The door was at least 15ft away, and it never would've made it.
But it did create a beautiful effect--this brilliantly green leafy vine dotted with big yellow blossoms and neat little round zucchinis, cascading up and over the side of the washtub. I was so pleased that I didn't even care if I got to eat anything off it. But I did, and it was delicious. Despite it's hybrid background. It helped that it came out of an abandoned house...I'm a sucker for old homesteads! And oddball plants.
My greenhouse gets a lot of use, mainly due to our crazy Ozark weather. It serves as a shelter for cuttings and seedlings, as a space to over-winter tender plants, and even has a small seating area for use as a sun room. We built our greenhouse from recycled resort windows and reclaimed deck lumber, and it has a creek gravel and salvaged brick floor. We added a barrel stove for heat during extremely cold weather, and a rain barrel catches runoff which I use to water the plants. Outside, cold-frames topped with old windows hug the length of the exterior, and serve as a planting bed in the cold weather months. The wall behind the cold-frames serves as a trellis for vining crops, and in late summer the greenhouse is almost completely camouflaged by the vigorous plants. It's a favorite spot for me, and quite the sight to see!