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  • Betty Girardeau

A glory for the night

If you are sure that you have a brown thumb here's a plant that I can recommend with beautiful fragrant flowers that is nearly full proof. But there is a caveat, too. Be sure that you have lots of space for them to travel with their vines and preferably give them something to climb as well. But I can promise you that with just a few seeds you will be able to enhance your late afternoons and evenings in the summer with these gorgeous flowers, the Moonflower. One summer I planted these and their sisters, Morning Glories, off my lower patio. They bloomed after my day lilies, so at the time I didn't mind that their vines pretty much took over that part of my garden as well as a planter and my Knock Out rose bush. After the last killing frost that fall I had a real mess trying to pull out and untangle the dead vines and have not planted them since. The history of these flowers is pretty interesting. Like the Sunflower, they are native to the Americas. Some 3000 years before Charles Goodyear discovered vulcanization, the Mesoamericans were using these and their sisters, Morning Glories, to convert the latex from the Castilla Elastica tree to produce bouncing rubber balls. I don't have an Elastica tree and I don't have a desire to make rubber balls, but I must admit that I really did enjoy these evening glories despite their invasiveness. I think I am going to see how they would do if I planted a couple of seeds in a container and trained the vines up a trellis that I have on my lower patio. I will still probably have to do some work to keep them in check. But since it doesn't look like I am going to be doing much traveling this summer, they might provide me with something to do along with getting to enjoy their pretty flowers again. I'll keep you posted.

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