ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Slipshod Gardener 6: Glory and Passion

Updated on June 19, 2013

Era of the Morning Glories

Fall 2010
Fall 2010 | Source

Clematis blooming along top rail

May 2011
May 2011 | Source

Morning glories, clematis and jasmine--oh my!

In the spring of 2008, a windfall allowed me to get a couple of mutts and several chain link panels to keep them from roaming the neighborhood. I was sensitive to the ugliness of chain link and from the start intended to cover it with vines. I also intended to thwart any digging by my dogs. These two goals complemented each other. I put concrete blocks around the interior edge of the kennel and filled the holes of the blocks with topsoil. I then sprinkled some morning glory seeds in the soil, ruffled it around a bit in typical slipshod manner, patted it down, watered and waited.

I didn’t wait long. Morning glories like to make a strong start. No sooner were my blocks full of eager seedlings than my mother cautioned me about my choice, scientific family convolvulaceae, which sounded enough like convulsion to warrant some internet research. I discovered it is toxic to dogs and cats but did not find any cases of fatalities. I decided to take the risk of letting them grow. The only negative effect over four years has been a cat who was woozy for one afternoon. Still, I’ll avoid morning glories for animal enclosures in the future.

Another problem with morning glories is that they shoot to the top of the fence, leaving the majority of it relatively bare. I also planted jasmine and clematis (also problematic for pets) that first year. Jasmine’s habit is similar to that of morning glories. It likes to mound on the fence top. Unlike morning glories, both jasmine and clematis are slow-growing. My clematis were in the ground for two years before they made a decent attempt to climb and bloom. My jasmine took three years to produce a decent cluster of blossoms.

Unphased by winter, the passion flower vine is poised to take over

April 2012
April 2012 | Source

Clematis and Passion flower get along beautifully

April 2012
April 2012 | Source

Southern fence completely covered

September 2012
September 2012 | Source
Close up of the odd structure of a passion flower
Close up of the odd structure of a passion flower | Source

Passion Flower Vine

Three strikes and you’re out? Not so. I got passion flower bare root through a catalog and planted it unceremoniously directly into clay in the fall of 2009. Nipped before long by frost, it disappeared and I suspected it had died. No. It had merely sequestered itself to further flesh out its plan for world domination.

Its first summer, its growth was modest and largely vertical with only modest blooms. The morning glories, which had self-seeded, were still the Lords of the Fence.

By 2011, the passion flower had also seeded and was growing horizontally and vertically and rapidly. It had blanched a bit over the winter but hadn’t died back. The same was true the next winter so that this year, its third summer, the passion flower vines have nearly covered sixteen feet of six-foot high fence, climbed to the gutters, created a green curtain over one of my windows and have begun to crawl horizontally along the siding. This from a start of one root.

The passion flower vine blooms continuously, though the blooms aren’t obvious from a distance. Bees of all varieties love the flowers, so the vines are constantly full of frantic activity.

I was initially worried it would choke out the other vines, but they just treat it as additional scaffolding. This spring my passion flower vines sported a beautiful cascade of purple clematis and the clematis have made a less showy reappearance this fall. The jasmine had its best bloom yet and nothing stops the re-seeding morning glories.

So my fence is now a complete riot of vines, providing my dogs with privacy as they do their business and presenting a green wall to neighbors. Yes, I’ve got the fence thing figured out. Meanwhile my front yard remains a dicey arena of experimentation.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)