Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Plants I Know and Love No. 4: Morning Glories

Good morning. Gold Country Sister Tina here. I am going to show you a marvelous plant to grow if you like lovely colors, lush leaves and vines, and lots of privacy. Because morning glories will grow up and cover up almost anything, so if they are covering a fence, you are going to be very private behind that fence.
Where I used to live I grew morning glories on the wire fence which surrounded our little dog Teddy's yard. They bloomed in wild abandon, and no animals bothered them, because Teddy would bark and scare them away. I couldn't find any photos to share with you, so I am sharing a watercolor I did of them at the time.
Morning glories are very popular subjects in art. Here they are painted on a vintage kitchen canister.
These morning glories are growing on a cyclone fence, sharing the scene with some bright blue bunches of grapes. These flowers grow at Fife Winery which is in Northern California near Willits and Clear Lake. The fence in the backyard of the winery, where you can sit for picnics and a good view of Lake Mendocino, is covered with lovely morning glories.
These brilliantly colored flowers and the ones below are also growing at Fife. Their wine is excellent, stop by sometime with a picnic and enjoy the wine, the flowers and the view.
Morning Glories are very popular on fabric, and also on vintage tablecloths. I found a few examples to share with you, the first one is below.
While the red lilies take center stage, the morning glories with their arrow-shaped leaves add eye catching interest around the border.
These morning glories were joined by lovely orange nasturtiums on this sturdy white fence in Santa Cruz, California. I visited there with my sister Lori and a good friend on the 4th of July in 2008. We had stopped to check out a possible place to stay and these were growing in the front of a lovely old Victorian home.
The blue just pops out at you against all that green.
I had a hard time tearing myself away, and took lots of pictures.
Here the morning glories climb over an arbor. It was spectacular. Santa Cruz is a great beach town, and has a huge board walk with a roller coaster you must ride if you go there for a visit. Don't miss the merry-go-round or the free rock and roll concerts on the beach either!
Another vintage tablecloth with the morning glories providing the border again, this time a bit more crowded.
These slightly chewed on beauties were growing on my front porch a few years ago. I grow morning glories in many parts of my yard, and fight the same fight with the deer as I do with my other plants I grow. Deer love to eat them, of course. Luckily they usually don't climb the front steps to eat the plants, but they have occasionally.
This is probably my favorite color of all the morning glories I grow. The blue is so vivid it seems to glow. In the lower right corner of this photo you can see the developing seed pods. I always save seeds from each year's bunch of flowers, and they get all mixed together so I never know what colors will end up where when I plant them the next year. I usually plant them in late spring, and by late summer there are blooms abounding everywhere. They like to climb but will also grow happily in hanging pots.
This purple beauty took off up a wire and didn't stop until it was almost roof level.
Some kind of caterpillar ate the leaves on this vine. They were almost lacy and rather attractive.
I often grow morning glories on the wire fence that surrounds my kitchen garden on the South side of my house. I planned on taking some pictures of how well they did this year, but then the deer ate almost every single flower and leaf so I didn't get a chance.
It is amazing all the different colors you end up with. If I buy seed packets (I usually don't have to) I buy the ones which have multiple colors inside.
This is a morning glory which actually grew and bloomed inside my house in my garden window this year.
One last look at another lovely color. The light ones almost seem to glow in the dark, and are nice in a moon garden. This flower was growing in a terra cota pot with a jumble of other types of flowers, including petunias.
One final vintage tablecloth to end the show. On this one the morning glories were allowed to be the stars.
Spring is still quite a way off, but the garden catalogs will soon be arriving. Order some morning glory seeds and plant them along a fence, below your porch, in a hanging basket, or even in your garden window. You won't be sorry. Then save the seeds for the next year. You will never be without morning glories again.


Heidi Ann said...

Reading this delightful and colorful post was a glorious start to my morning!!

yosemite faith said...

you are right about that blue - it does glow. loved all the photos and vintage morning glory items - great post!!!!

Twyla and Lindsey said...

I love morning glories! Especially the blue ones! They are also easy enough for me to grow. Thank you for this beautiful post. Twyla