First I would like to show the ones halfway down the hill. They are growing on fencing that was installed to support flowering sweet pea vines. That reminds me, - please forgive a minor rant halfway through this sentence - we used to call green peas (the kind one shells out) English Peas, but the past few years I've noticed the canned ones on the grocers' shelves are labeled "sweet peas"(!), and because sweet pea seeds are poisonous, I think that is dangerous. What if a young, new to gardening person who has no mentor grows sweet peas (the flower), then lets them go to seed and cooks them! (Rant over, but you can understand the danger there.)
OK, I will get back to morning glories in a minute, but that rant reminded me of an amusing incident involving one of my young helpers. He had worked here several years, and I had watched him mature, graduate from the local university, start up his own landscaping business, listened to all his dating, girlfriend, love-life stories, then saw him move into a quiet, serious relationship. (When he quit sharing that type of conversation, I knew this one was serious.) One day he was back helping with something, and noticed the English Peas growing on the tomato cage needed picking, and asked if he could take them home with him. I said, "Sure."
The next time he was here, he said they cooked the peas, but those shells were really tough! Then I realized, those young people were probably used to Sugar Snap Peas which had been around all their young lives. I had never realized he was not knowledgeable about the old fashioned English Peas. It was all I could do to keep a straight face while I explained the difference. Did that ever make me feel old!
Oh, yes, I promised flowers. Here, halfway down the hill they can be seen before they flowered. From the foreground the fencing runs back several feet, then turns to the right. You can see that there are more vines at the far end: upper right quadrant at the edge of the photo. Then it looked as if "morning" has broken.
In the next photo, morning glories are shown with iron-weed in flower. This photo shows the iron-weed's color nearer correct than the next photo which has a shadow in it.
Now, let's go to the front porch. It is a small one so it was not easy to get far enough back for a few photo shots. What you are seeing here is a wild grapevine climbing the post and railing, with morning glory vines mixed in (before they bloomed).
This year there was too much grapevine, so the morning glories did not do as well. I had pruned 2 or 3 times taking off about half the grapevine, but it still grew too fast and was just too much. This winter the grapevine is going to get a serious chop almost to the ground. In years past they showed much better with less grapevine.
One year we were having some roof work done, and everyday the men wanted to sit on the front steps to eat their lunch even though I offered them the chairs in the back yard. They said they wanted to sit there beside those pretty blue flowers and wanted to know what they were. The oldest man said he wanted to get some seeds for "Mama". I think he meant his wife, not his mother, for some men call their wives Mother or Mama. Later, I mailed him three packets of seeds, and told him to share with the other two men. Several months later he came back to check on something for me. I asked if he received the seeds. He said he had, and his wife asked, "Who's sending you flowers!"
The first year or two, I planted the seeds directly in the ground, but the English Ivy was stronger, and more aggressive than I. I remembered seeing an item in the attic that the previous owner had left. It is a metal box with metal screen bottom. I retrieved it, set it on the ground, loaded it with potting mix laced with moisture retaining granules, stuck in a few sticks, then planted seeds. It didn't take long for the vines to start up the stakes after a little gentle help. The stakes led them into the grapevine, then up they traveled.
Meanwhile, on the porch two large clay pots were planted with seedlings from the work area. I gave them a little help to send them in the correct direction.
One peeking back.
Now turning toward steps.You might notice that vines grow in, and on, the steps. When we moved here, Mary had English Ivy trained across at the bottom of every riser. It was trimmed and looked pretty. Then over the years when my head was turned people "cleaned up that ivy on the front steps"! Sometimes it was Husband/Best Friend/Chief Photographer, and sometimes well meaning helpers who had no training or natural sense of aesthetics. I do not weep easily, but inside I was hurting and weeping.
As a result, I have almost bodily waged a defense of the Small-Leaf Maple-leaf Ivy that is left. Husband/Best Friend/Chief Photographer has pulled it out twice. Helpers did so least once or twice. Considering that it is a very weak-growing, gentle plant I was afraid it was gone for good. It took a long time each time, but it is back for now. I cannot micro-manage every other person who sets foot on this place. I decided to try to keep the English Ivy off as a way to defend the delicate one.
I will post a few photos of the steps, then a few close ups of the delicate ivy.
Left to Right
I took the following closeups, and they are a bit blurred, sorry; I have a slight tremor. To give you an idea of the scale, those are dry dogwood tree leaves. They are not very large leaves. The closeups will allow you to see the pretty shape of the dainty, little leaves of that vine.
Backing away from the steps through the New England Asters.
Those red berries on the left are the fruit on a dogwood tree. It makes for a colorful area. You may have to click on the photo to be able to see the color well enough to enjoy it.
How beautiful is "blue"?!