Here’s something you could plant from seed today: Grandpa Ott’s morning glory.
The morning glory is a quick growing annual that will climb up anything: fences, posts, trellises, the shovel handle if you forget where you left it… And they bloom A LOT and are old-fashioned and romantic looking like garden flowers should be.
Here is an easy Morning Glory Project you can have in your garden right away for this summer and it costs so little you can probably afford it even if you are me .
It’s a Towering Column Of Morning Glory vines, featuring my favorite old variety called Grandpa Ott. Here is a photo of the column I grew last summer.
This photo was from late August unfortunately, after the long flowering time was winding down, but the big heart-shaped leaves endure. The blooms are a deep blue with a pinkish center, very electric color.
FOR THIS PROJECT you will need the following materials:
(1) A big pot or a nice circle of ground. (Note: If using a nice circle of ground make it about an eighteen inch diameter circle that’s all fluffed up and full of lovely composty stuff and not rock-hard impenetrable clay like my nice circles of ground are before I dig and amend them for about five years.)
(2) If using a pot, fill it with what you find in some nice circle of ground.
(3) Some stakes. (Yes it is another teepee. I am not obsessed.) You need three or four stakes and they should be tall and skinny. Maybe 6 to 8 feet tall. (Note: bamboo fly fishing rods are about right, check the garage.)
(4) Morning glory seeds: Grandpa Ott or Heavenly Blue or whatever is perfect for your garden or at least available close by.
Now, Morning Glory plants are like cholesterol, there are both good and bad kinds. It’s Ipomoea tricolor you want, lovely graceful friendly. They don’t self-sow much at all in my experience, but the thinking is about 50-50 on that on the Dave’s Garden site. (Growing it in a pot away from welcoming beds should minimize unplanned new plants. If you want it next year too just gather the seeds in the fall, easy.)
One thing for sure though, Grandpa Ott is very different from… [dark , threatening music plays] Convolvulus arvensis, or BINDWEED. On that plant the blooms are small and white and the plant is just generally Very Bad, invasive like Napoleon’s army, not what you want and if it’s available in a seed packet anywhere it’s for terrorist gardeners only.
(5) A short piece of tying material such as garden velcro, twine, dental floss, shoe lace. (I try to keep duct tape out of the garden.)
That’s it. You put it all together like in the photo above, give it some shade from the afternoon sun and keep it watered. I cut bamboo sticks from the bamboo bed for this one– Mr. O didn’t seem to have any fly rods around — and I tied them together at the top with twine. There are six or seven little Grandpa Ottses sprouted in there, plus about three lobelia to hopefully hide the top of the pot a little.
Alternatively you can just plant your morning glories by a post, like I did one other year. It wasn’t as lush an outcome though, due to using only about two plants and not mulching or getting that circle of ground right…Will I ever learn all the gardening stuff? And will I get beyond teepee trellises? What about growing potato plants from seeds, was that a bad idea? Stay tuned.
Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening.