16 September 2008


Morning glories are on the short list of plants I have to have in my garden. They're a little chaotic, but they're low-maintenance, pest-free, and gorgeous.

Ever since I saw masses of dark blue blooms spilling over a fence just off the Danforth, I've been obsessed with growing the morning glories known as Heavenly Blue. The seeds seem to come only a few to a packet, so year after year I would try for my dark blue flowers only to have pale blue ones show up instead. Don't get me wrong--pale blue morning glories are also wonderful. But they weren't what I wanted.

This year I was sure I was out of luck again. My first batch of seeds sprouted, but I took too long getting them into the ground (they need to be soaked in water first, but there's such a thing as over-soaking). Only a couple of the seeds turned into actual plants, and my excitement over those was short-lived as they disappeared, seemingly overnight. Not sure what happened there, but it was a disappointment, to say the least.

Frustrated, I was set to have another Heavenly Blue-free year when I decided, despite the lateness in the season, to try again. I soaked the seeds for a shorter amount of time and got them into the ground. This time I ended up with a few strong plants. A couple of weeks ago, I noticed masses of flower buds on the plants. When the flowers started opening, I was thrilled to see that there were dark blue ones as well as lighter ones. Finally! And the combination is fantastic. Of course, the irony is that it's been consistently grey and rainy, a condition that not only makes taking pictures difficult, but causes the large flowers to become limp and floppy. Still I managed a few photos to share (note the beads of water in the picture above).

One of the morning glories is growing with the 'Viking" climbing rose, which also happens to be in bloom at the moment. (This is a great rose, by the way--healthy, vigorous, a profuse bloomer. The only problem is the lack of scent.) Best of all, the plants will seed themselves now. Next year I should have all the morning glories I can handle (and then some--they can be a bit aggressive, so I'm going to have to make sure to thin them out).

I also have dark purple (classic) and soft pink morning glories. I tried growing some of the crimson ones too, but somehow they morphed into dark purple--go figure.

It occurred to me recently as I was looking out over the garden, that between the roses, morning glories, delphiniums, pansies, and lavender, I'd might as well plant a few sunflowers next year and just admit I've got a cottage garden again!


bella said...

I'd like to plant morning glories for the intended trellis, but I'm worried about their aggressiveness. Given that the trellis will fit between two lilacs, I don't want the bushes to become a second support for the morning glories.

Aspasia said...

Yes--there's a good chance the glories will twine onto the lilacs. You can unwind them, of course. But I don't think they'll hurt the plants, and the next spring (when they're brown and crunchy) you can just break them off. They definitely need thinning out, though.