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Rooftop Gardening: Flowering Vegetables

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If I was Tinkerbell, or some other dainty little fairy flitting here and there in a forest, I’d like my dress to be made from this frilly white flower. We have no idea what this plant is called, Mohamed received the seeds from a good friend who owns a greenhouse operation nearby. He told me it makes a gourd that people like to eat the seeds from as a snack. It’s supposed to be a quick growing vine that will cover our grape arbor and give us shade and relief from the hot summer sun up on our rooftop garden.
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We planted a seed in every barrel around the roof, and they are taking off like crazy, producing many vines and slowly climbing up the arbor. One or two have actually reached the top of the arbor already and I’m guiding them carefully in the right directions.

The pretty flowers are quite a bonus, in my opinion! Two nights ago we were up on the roof working and it was about time to stop. At sunset the mosquitoes come out, and I don’t like to be their dinner.

But this time, a little earlier than the mosquitoes, a really interesting insect came visiting these frilly white flowers. Too bad I didn’t have my camera up there at the time, it looked like the strangest cross between a small hummingbird and a large butterfly, with gorgeous orange colored spots on its wings. Just like a hummingbird, I couldn’t really see the wings, just the spots, as it was hovering over the flower and inserting it’s needle-like beak for a sip of something sweet, then it flitted off to the next flower!

Insha’Allah, God willing, I’ll have my camera ready next time!

This next shot is one of the barrels filled with the vines of this mystery gourd. The bougainvillea planted in a chicken feeder beside the barrel is also flowering nicely, adding some pretty color to the roof!

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