MORNING GLORY (Ipomoea tricolor) ‘Heavenly Blue’

MG1 Morning Glory 'Heavenly Blue' opening upS & C America

This elegant climber has heart-shaped leaves, trumpets of SKY BLUE flowers with CREAM throats and buds like furled satin umbrellas. Flowers open in the morning, lasting for only a day. In our climate, Ipomoeas flower from springtime till first frosts.

Our gardener RF raised Morning Glories from seed in his airing cupboard. He kept a gardening journal, making notes of what was flowering and when, the date he acquired a plant, the weather…

RF’s father raised Morning Glories in his greenhouse before planting them out. In the growing season, when they spoke on the phone, Morning Glory numbers were always compared – ‘The MG Count.’ ‘Twenty-three today!’ RF could refer to his journals and compare the day’s MG count with those from other years.

Ipomoea tricolor Morning Glory ‘Heavenly Blue’ is a Bees’ Favourite. Bees and other pollinators moving slowly from one blue trumpet to the next provide one of the visual highlights of summer.

MGs -three Morning Glories on rose archsingle mg bud, unfurlingMorning Glory bud

Years ago I tried growing this plant from seed, on a windowsill. I had a rescue kitten at the time; the sound of seeds rattling in the packet (they are the size of peas) caught her attention, and she managed to bat most of them into crevices behind the kitchen skirting boards. Those I managed to retrieve and plant did grow, but in that damp kitchen it was a race against time to see which plants could avoid death by damping off.

If you can grow Morning Glory from seed where I could not, or if you can find a young MG on sale in spring, do have a go. The buds unfurling, the  opening of the flowers, that dazzling colour – even in a windowbox with a few canes as a makeshift trellis, on a day when the MG count is only one, everything about this plant will hold your interest.

5 - Morning Glories side-on

MGs on the Tau, green casserole dish, Roses

MGs on RF’s cane pergola

FMorning Glory 'Heavenly Blue'

Ricoh DC 4U

Unfurling Morning Glory

MG buds, stems and leaves

2- Morning Glory with spiral of climber

2 - Rose arch w MG Ipomoea Morning Glory 'Heavenly Blue', Oxeye Daisy, Nasturtium

 

When we stopped using the blue snail pellets, slugs and snails savaged any MGs planted out in the ground. Our solution was to plant them in pots and hang them on the rose arch, wrapping copper tape round its uprights, close to the ground.

I now also use small bits of copper pipe, left after a plumbing job. An electric charge is said to surge through the slug or snail as they come into contact with copper, making them drop off.