Morning Glory story

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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.

Grandpa Ott's Morning Glory

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.

About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
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12 Responses to Morning Glory story

  1. Enjoy your writing so much – a narrative of humour combined with excellent information. Can’t resist container garden projects either as my soil is still dustbowl dry, despite years of soil improvement. Grandap Ott looks so good in the teepee pot, I am inspired to give it a go.

  2. linniew says:

    Thanks for the comment Laura! Yes you would like having Grandpa in your garden 🙂
    If you can’t find seeds let me know, I collected a lot last summer and would be happy to put some in an envelope!

  3. Lee May says:

    What a pleasure to read your post on morning glories, a plant I too love and grow. The name alone starts the day off right. All the best –Lee

  4. Grace says:

    I grew Grandpa Ott years ago and up until last summer I was STILL pulling out his progeny. I never thought of planting him in a pot and setting it on the lawn. INGENIOUS. Your photos are stunning. What a gorgeous flower. 🙂

    • linniew says:

      Oh my, Grace. Good thing I put in the disclaimer part about self-sowing. I’ve had people give me evil aggressive plants before so I do know how alarming that can be! And I love your “planting him” expression. So fun to personify…everything!

  5. That morning glory has such a lovely color…just stunning. And that is a good tip for growing it in a pot.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I loved reading this article! Morning glorys are my favorite flower compared to any other flower there is! These pictures are beautiful, but absolutely no picture can give this flower justice. There 6 o clock morning dew, bright green heart shaped leaves, how thief vines curl and twist… At my grandmas she grew them on her fence, and the way the vines curl and twist covering the fence not completely, just just enough, was breathtaking. Like the fences you see in pictures or movies of vintage houses or their fence covered in vines, in Paris, London, Greece, exc. they smell wonderful as well and their petals are extremely silky and velvety, softer than any rose. I wish I was in Cali right now to see them myself, I live in Vegas and haven’t seen them since, it’s a real disappointment. Thank you for sharing these pictures, they reminded me why I love them so much.

    • linniew says:

      I think you should grow some morning glories where you live. Even in a pot on any bit of outside space. They grow pretty easily! Thanks for sharing your memories…

  7. Hi There,

    Your Morning Glories are lovely. I had quite a spectacular display of them last season, and the season before. One strange thing though. I have never bought, or started any Grandpa Ott’s. I have started several different packages, from different vendors of Heavenly Blue. Among the 2 dozen or so plants that flourished 2 seasons ago, only ONE was a Heavenly Blue among many Grandpa Ott’s. How does this happen…LOL…?

  8. Kristin says:

    I’ve never laughed & actually enjoyed reading a gardening article. Your advice was easy to understand & very helpful. I had to comment even tho this is a old post.

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