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Ancient Bottle Gourd

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Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. As a non-traditional, i.e. older, student, I took one horticulture class with David Bradshaw and my life was changed for the better. Among his infectious passions is an interest in   heirloom seeds and he helped establish an heirloom seed repository at Clemson. One website offers his purple martin bird house seeds, our topic of the week, the ancient bottle gourd, Lagenaria sicenaria. For over fifty years, he’s been selecting seeds with the best characteristics for this purpose.    Purple martins travel to South America in the winter and come back in spring to mate and raise their young. Natural nesting cavities are few and far between in our urbanized country; purple martin condominiums offer a safe place for these birds. Members of the swallow family, they’ll delight you with their aerial acrobatics as they catch and eat insects on the wing.

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.