The Mystery Garden

When we first moved to our land, this section of the property was full of brambles and brush. It doesn’t look that bad here in the picture ’cause it was winter time and everything was dead, but believe me, when it was green it seemed it would be impossible to clear out. It was in a perfect location for a garden though, so we really wanted to get rid of the overgrowth.

We decided we’d fence it in and put a couple of goats in the lot to clear out the weeds. They did a fantastic job of clearing most of it, but there were still a few thick plants, stumps, and large rocks that were in our way. So, we put a pig in there. The pig was exactly what we needed to till up this piece of dirt. Not only did the combination of the goats and the pig work wonders for clearing the brush and unearthing large rocks, they also helped this future garden area by fertilizing the ground.

Eventually, we sold the pig and those particular goats, so we didn’t need to use this spot for a pen any longer. This Spring, the fence came down and Jerry went at it with a tiller. We couldn’t believe how nice of a garden area it had become. Jerry worked hard hoeing rows and planting corn. We also put several mounds of soil in the corner of the lot for watermelons and pumpkins.

As our seeds have begun growing into beautiful plants, we’ve noticed something humorously unexpected. In between the rows and cornstalks, random plants are growing. But they aren’t just weeds… they’re edibles!

We first noticed them as we were weeding one day, and right off the bat we could tell they weren’t like the rest of the invaders we were busy uprooting. They were definitely worth keeping… but what were they exactly? It was a guessing game for a while!

Cucumber or watermelon? Squash… no, zucchini, maybe?

It has been really fun watching over the past two weeks as these plants have grown, blossomed, and have finally begun to fruit.

There are still a few plants that are unidentified as of now. But I’ve definitely counted 9 watermelons,

3 tomato plants (which, by the way, may have to go as they are not supposed to be planted with corn),

an acorn squash, and…

The Mystery Vine.

Anyone have any idea what this could be?? I’m DYING to know what it is!! It’s much too pretty to be a weed!

I gotta say, I’m having a lot of fun watching how this silly garden develops! I’m excited about the acorn squash, too. I don’t even think I’ve ever had an acorn squash! And if we get as many watermelons as I see growing on these vines, we’ll be some very happy gardeners!

So, just where did all of these random plants come from you ask? When we first noticed all of the watermelon vines sprouting at the same time the ones we had actually planted were coming up, I playfully accused my husband of having a hole in his pocket. But he swore up and down that he didn’t have the watermelon seeds anywhere near the corn at planting time. We laughed as we realized that all of these volunteers no doubt came from stuff we’d thrown to the pig at some point. It’s amazing the seeds survived in the ground since last Fall, and had even been tilled up and everything!

I don’t know how well our corn will do this year, but at least if it doesn’t do well we’ll still get something from this plot!

I love having a mystery garden.

About Kendra 1103 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.


  1. The mystery plant is definitely in the winter squash family, probably a pumpkin, but it could be a gourd as well.

  2. Looks like a mini pumpkin to me, but I’m no authority. I had some growing last year and I remember noticing the light colored areas near the veins on the leaves.

  3. I love little mysteries in the garden! Our first year gardening we had ornamental gourd plants popping up everywhere. We’ve let them return year after year. It’s so fun to have them to decorate with in the fall! I’m thinking your mystery might be some sort of zucchini? It looks a lot like our zucchini leaves. It’ll be fun to see the results of all that’s growing in your mystery plot!

  4. We had 9 tomato plants come up on the edge of our compost pile this year. Not sure if they’ll ever fruit since they’re probably from some crazy hybrid tomato we bought at the store, but we transplanted them just them same. the plants are doing great! We’ll see what happens…

  5. So funny about your surprise garden! I am no help whatsoever on the mystery plant, but have a really good, really simple recipe for the acorn squash for you.

    Looking forward to seeing your garden grow!


  6. The last one looks very much like the cantaloupes I have growing. Hope you get some fun melons and squashes from your surprise garden!

  7. The mystery plant looks like one of our mystery plants, which turned out to be miniature pumpkins (or maybe decorative squashes… we played gourd-ball with the dogs until all of the gourds from the Thanksgiving centerpiece had busted, and suddenly I have TEN pumpkin/squash volunteers!).

  8. I’m with Sharin, what you’re calling watermelon looks like the pumpkins I have growing in my garden. But hey, you know what you fed your pig, and it was probably watermelon and not pumpkin. Will be fun to get a full report in a few months.

  9. That is so funny…We have had cantaloupe, squash, cucumbers and tomato plants come up in our pig’s pen. We feed him alot of vegetables that are rotting or not good and he is “planting” them for us. It was pretty sad one year when the cherry tomato plant in his pen looked better than the one in my garden….

  10. I love this. This year I had a tomato plant come up on the opposite side of my backyard from where my garden is. I couldn’t believe it and now it is starting to produce. It is so neat when stuff like this happens. 🙂

  11. Looks like a pumpkin…. or some other melon, we had a few surprises in our garden this year as well along with a few early pumpkins and cantaloupe, watermelon and a few unidentified plants (they are large like a watermelon but fuzzy… any clue?)

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