Tuesday, 26 January 2016

An Unexpected Rockmelon

Sometimes, the best surprises that happen in our garden are offered up by those plants which just "pop up" from self-sown seeds. From cosmos flowers and little lavender seedlings to rampaging pumpkin vines, such serendipitous finds are both free and welcome in our garden.

A rockmelon or cantaloupe fruit on the vine.

One such unexpected joy of late has been this  rockmelon (cantaloupe) vine. I did not plant it and I can't remember the last time we ate one, but a seed germinated in our soil all the same. Upon my discovery of it, I lifted the vine up onto a wire frame to give it support. I watered it when the weather was hot and dry and I fed it too with some weak worm tea. And it has produced a heavy, round and juicy rockmelon. Just one fruit so far but what a treat!

The sweet, orange  flesh of the ripe rockmelon.

We snacked on wedges of our chilled rockmelon on one of the hottest days we've had here this Summer. It was cool and fresh and juicy:) If we are lucky, and our sole rockmelon vine produces another fruit, I would like to try using it in a sweet, icy sorbet (imagine that on a hot Summer's day).

Plants such as this rockmelon, that self sow and grow, not only offer up free flowers, herbs, fruit or veggies but they also show a gardener like me what can be grown in my soil and what spaces and aspects within the garden offer ideal conditions that support a particular plant's germination and growth.  

Now that I know rockmelon can be successfully grown in our garden, I just might deliberately plant some next Summer and make that sorbet.

Do you have unexpected plants popping up in your garden? 



  1. Several years ago we had a couple of Rockmelons pop up in our veggie patch, and just like you I let them be, and just as they were getting big and juicy and ripe....the dog at it!!!! LOL

    True story!! A rockmelon eating dog! She is gone from our lives now, and I miss her to bits, one of those dogs you never get over, such a precious/funny memory of her though...and now I'm tearing up, so I best go....

    1. Oh, Cheryl. I understand those tears! We've had a couple of unforgettable dogs over the years and to this day, I still miss them. They were part of our family just as it seems your lovely dog was a part of yours.

      We have an old and gentle Labrador now. "Sir Steve" sends you much love and wants you to know that he is partial to honeydew melon! It seems some dogs will eat just about anything!

    2. HA HA, it must be the lab in him, our current dog is a chocolate labrador cross cattle dog, looks more lab like, but a leaner physique, he eats anything, any time, anywhere!

    3. Yep, Sir Steve is often referred to as a "hoover", as in the vacuum cleaner! The only thing we've found he doesn't eat are fresh, green beans:)