Glories of the garden. August 29, 2008Posted by ourfriendben in gardening, wit and wisdom.
Tags: Bowers Chile Pepper Festival, Meadow View Farm, morning glories, ornamental vines, variegated morning glories
Our friend Ben has always loved morning glories, though they have not always loved us here in Pennsylvania. From the huge, stunning azure blooms of ‘Heavenly Blue’ to the numerous small, endearing purple-and-red flowers of the heirloom variety ‘Grandpa Otts’, our friend Ben has almost never seen a morning glory I couldn’t love. (Until, that is, I went online and discovered a couple of varieties with flowers that looked like they’d been run through a paper shredder. Yikes!)
But morning glories bloom late here at Hawk’s Haven, our little cottage in the precise middle of nowhere, PA. And the vines aren’t exactly what you’d call scintillating, while you’re waiting and waiting (and watering and watering while you’re waiting and waiting) for bloom. This is not what our friend Ben calls a win-win situation.
So you can imagine how thrilled Silence Dogood and I were when we went to one of our favorite places, Jim Weaver’s Meadow View Farm near Bowers, PA, and saw that he had transplants of two morning glories with variegated foliage. We bought one of each and planted them on one (wood, not glass) side of our greenhouse. And we have been absolutely thrilled.
Yes, as always with us, the blooms are just starting to appear in late August, when we can already taste fall in the air, and the demise of all our annual plants, including these. But for once we don’t care. The white-and-green variegated foliage of these vines is so handsome, we’d love it if it never, ever produced a single bloom. Blooms are a bonus. The foliage is the thing. We have a vine of ‘Chocolate Rose Silk’, which bears interesting morning-glory blooms that are indeed a dusky rose with a white rim (aka a ‘picotee edge’ in horticultural lingo), and ‘Minibar Rose’, a very odd name for a plant with lovely bright pink flowers. (We’re still wondering where the bar is, mini or otherwise.) Both have to-die-for foliage.
Next year, we’ll grow some of these variegated morning glories in hanging baskets (assuming Mr. Weaver offers them again). And we’ll grow them on the greenhouse wall, too. We simply can’t resist them. If you haven’t yet encountered them, our friend Ben urges you to check them out for next season! And if you live in Pennsylvania, don’t forget the Bowers Chile Pepper Festival next weekend, where Jim Weaver’s amazing collection of hot peppers will be for sale. We hope to see you there!