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A Glorious Combination

September 10, 2011

The glorious combination of Ipomoea tricolor 'Blues Brothers' growing on the patio fence in my Gettysburg garden (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) Growing morning glories (Ipomoea) in my Maine garden is an iffy proposition (see Morning Glories in Maine), but my Gettysburg Pennsylvania garden, just north of the Mason-Dixon line, is perfect for these colorful fall flowers. Each year, I buy a packet of morning glory seeds and plant them along the bottom of the patio fence in early May. Just before I leave for Maine about three weeks later, I thin them out and start to train them up the twine I have attached to the fence for this purpose. And voila!, when I return to Gettysburg in late August for the start of the school year, I find morning glories blooming on the fence. Even better, they continue to bloom for another two months or more (well after any growing in my Maine garden have been turned to black mush by frost).

blues brothers Up until now, my morning glory of choice has always been Ipomoea ‘Heavenly Blue.’ I love their intense blue flowers with just a hint of pink at the center. But last spring, while I was shopping in my local Agway store for flower seeds, I succumbed to the charms of ‘Blues Brothers,’ a combination of two different colors of Ipomoea tricolor, one an intense blue very much like ‘Heavenly Blue’ (but without the hint of pink) and the other a pale aqua.

Now that these are blooming on my fence, I am completely smitten with them. When I go downstairs each morning after waking, I rush to the patio door to look out at their blooms. And each morning they take my breath away.

In my Maine garden, where the morning glories bloom more sparsely and where they share space with the strong presence of Rudbeckia ‘Herbstsonne,’ I will continue to prefer the intense color of ‘Heavenly Blue.’ But in my Gettysburg garden, where morning glory blooms dominate the patio area in fall, the glorious combination of ‘Blues Brothers’ is perfect. I will definitely look for these again in spring.

The flowers of Ipomoea tricolor 'Blues Brothers' (photo credits: Jean Potuchek)

12 Comments leave one →
  1. September 10, 2011 4:38 pm

    Jean these are stunning…I tried to grow some beauties this year but the drought did mine in before they got started. I have to start them sooner in spring…

  2. September 10, 2011 4:43 pm

    Gorgeous! I have tried to grow morning glories many times and only had them bloom for me twice but they were so wonderful that I have kept trying. Your post makes me think I need to try harder next year!

  3. Lona permalink
    September 11, 2011 4:53 pm

    How lovely Jean. The two combined together makes a beautiful display.

  4. September 11, 2011 6:45 pm

    It’s funny, I tend to think of Morning Glories as a summer flower. Your combination looks lovely.

  5. September 12, 2011 11:40 am

    These are beautiful. I’ve not grown morning glory for several years, but may plant them again next season after seeing how pretty these are.

  6. September 12, 2011 4:56 pm

    Absolutely beautiful! Morning Glories are one of those garden treats that always bring a smile to my face.

  7. September 14, 2011 8:32 am

    The blue is a blue one wants to stare at for long periods of time…just gorgeous!

  8. September 14, 2011 12:28 pm

    Jean, is the season in your Maine garden too cold or too short for morning glories? I’ve always enjoyed these plants but haven’t tried them in my garden and didn’t even think they may not grow well here.

  9. September 15, 2011 11:48 am

    I used to always plant Heavenly Blue but somehow I got out of the habit. Your post inspires me to start that practice again and maybe try a new variety.

  10. September 15, 2011 6:59 pm

    I share your love of morning glories in blues and I love the fact that you plant them in PA in anticipation of returning in August to find them showing off for you. Great planning!

  11. October 2, 2011 12:33 pm

    Hello Everyone, It’s a telling reflection on the state of my life right now that it has taken me three weeks to get a chance to respond to these comments!

    Donna, I’m sorry to hear that the drought got your morning glories. We certainly didn’t have to worry about drought in south-central PA this year; we have already set a new record for the wettest year ever recorded, and there are still three months to go! The rain (and the fact that I am now leaving for work in the morning before sunrise) have kept me from getting out and enjoying these plants as much as I would like, but as tropical vines, they are very happy in the wet conditions.

    Chad, I struggle to grow morning glories in my Maine garden, but I love them too much to give up. So, like you, I keep thinking about ways that I could “try harder” to give them what they need.

    Karen, My sense of the seasons is strongly affected by the school calendar. Although morning glories begin to bloom in August in my PA garden, I see them there when I return for the opening of school in the fall. In my Maine garden, they don’t begin to bloom until September, which I definitely think of as fall.

    Kevin, That is exactly the way I feel about morning glories.

    Lona, I agree that this combination is beautiful.

    Michelle, The amazing blue of morning glories is their biggest attraction for me.

    Ginny and Carolyn, I don’t want to ever be without these flowers in my garden.

    Marguerite, Both the cold and the length of the growing season are challenges for growing morning glories in Maine. The soil doesn’t get warm enough to germinate the seeds until the end of May and then it takes 80-90 days for the flowers to bloom. By September, the nights have often gotten cold enough that, even though the vines may be covered with buds, the flowers can struggle to open. When I’m back to living in Maine full-time, I hope to start the seeds indoors in spring and set out vines that are already about a foot long at the beginning of June.

    Joene, LOL, planning is definitely my strong suit!


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