The Trellis less Traveled
As a child, morning glories were about the only things I could grow that were successful. Their delicate yet bold beauty was fascinating and satisfying. The Heavenly Blue morning glory I planted at my mother’s house still grows back every year – for the last 32 years! My mom says she can’t wait to see it every year.
A lot has changed in the 32 years since then. My hobbies include much more now, specifically photography. About three years ago, I was taking some pictures of some butterflies on some wild lantana at work and realized that I could just grow a little garden to attract butterflies so I could take their pictures at home as well. After planting some Lantana, Marigold, Zinnia and a couple of Morning Glory varieties, I was reminded of their beauty and once again hooked on Ipomoea. With the advent of facebook and social media, I have had much joy sharing the photos of the garden as I grew into a farm. From one arch with a Heavenly Blue and a Crimson Rambler, to 40 trellises, and an entire yard wrapped in fence, we’ve done a little expanding, to say the least.
From the moment I started this garden for the pictures, I started looking online for more things to use and to my shock discovered hundreds of exotic varieties of Ipomoea that you can’t find at local stores or even national stores. You can find the basic ipomoea purpurea and ipomoea tricolor at any Lowes, Walmart or other place, but almost none carry ipomoea nil and its many many many exotic and stunningly beautiful cultivars. Thanks to wonderful people on ebay and on their own blogs, I have found some must-have varieties for any gardener who wants to really display unique beauty and garden magic. Even now I am still trying to find ways to increase the use of my vineyard to pack in more varieties of ipomoea, but alas, space is limited.
The Vineyard was really an outgrowth of wanting to have a place to go to relax, take pictures, and just be with nature without having to spend too much money or go too far. At first I was thinking of growing a vegetable garden, but then the flooding rains we get discouraged that idea. Luckily, with a trellis and nursery pots, I was able to get around the flooding issue, so my father and I constructed our first trellis, saw that it worked well, then proceeded to carefully map out, design and create the Jacksonville Morning Glory Vineyard. Every morning for the whole growing season was like waking up on Christmas morning. Knowing that there could be strange new varieties producing never-before-seen blooms that were crafted by skilled botanists made me act just like a kid every morning. Couldn’t wait to get out of bed to go see what Nature had produced.
Let me just say, I wasn’t disappointed. Now that the growing season of 2013 has passed and the seeds have been collected, separated, and counted, we are preparing them to be sold on ebay in order to help spread these crown jewels of any garden to as many people as we can. I still can’t believe stores don’t sell these. They would sell out if they did!