The garden on the street has a generous immigration policy; if a plant finds its way there, grows well and makes for a pleasing addition, then it’s found a home, as have golden rods, blue vine milkweed and jewels of Opar. More persnickety people likely interpret this open arms approach to gardening as brazen slovenliness, but in the end it’s nothing more than an acceptance of inevitable diversity.
Then there came a year when a neighbor donated dirt from the municipal mulch, and the next spring pretty little vines appeared in abundance. Unless they were in my way , I let them grow. They never really made much of a show and were easily ignored until August when I came upon these perfectly spherical green-striped fruits that when sliced looked like little cucumbers and smelled like them too. Come October these hardened, turned a beautiful golden yellow and their faint aroma mellowed to mild vanilla.
These are plum grannies, (Cucumis melo-Dudaim Group), also called pocket or Queen Ann melons, a small aromatic gourd once carried about one’s person as a sort of sachet. Though the musk in my variety is faint, I find the name plum grannies fun and funny knowing now that it’s a linguistic corruption of pomegranate, another old pocket fruit.