Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday and Moonflowers..............

.....................looking out beyond the dining room window and the front porch, through the steamy windows, before the hot sun burns through the morning clouds................

................the Moonflower (ipomoea alba) vines are climbing and twining.  Their pretty heart-shaped leaves manage to survive with a daily watering.  Moonflowers open at dusk, each flower taking just one minute to unfurl from the tightly curled green bud.  They are bright white and delicately perfumed, remaining open until touched by the morning sun.

On a recent evening I picked one Moonflower to bring inside, something I've never done before.  Pure white petals, six inches across, are conjoined making it feel like a silky handkerchief, held in the prettiest pale green stem extension. I tucked it into a tiny silver vase and placed it on the mantel enjoying the reflection.......................

...................the following morning it had closed and shriveled back into a tiny bud-like flower.

Moonflowers are annuals and very easy to grow from inexpensive seeds - definitely a 'bang for your buck' garden beauty!  Soak the large seeds overnight, then nick before planting about one inch deep. In late Spring I plant several in a very large planter next to the front porch.  I use nylon fishing line for them to twine and climb, reaching as high as 15 feet to the roof.  They make a curtain at the end of the porch, their beautiful large leaves providing shade from the afternoon sun as it heads west across the sky.  I also mix in some purple Morning Glories for extra color during the daytime.

Perhaps next year you will enjoy growing these beauties around your home.

Moonflowers 'curtaining' my front porch, closing in the early morning sunshine......fresh ones will open this evening though!


  1. so delightful!!
    memories of my Grandmother's porch with the very same curtain of morning glories and moon flowers!
    how delightful to curl up with a book and read in the gently swaying swing!
    thanks for bringing back a childhood memory!
    warmest hugs,,

  2. I wish we could grow what we call Morning Glory here in the North of England, but we are too far North for it to do well.

  3. As you were describing the moonflower, I was thinking how it is the opposite of morning glories! I have planted moonflower in the past and I enjoyed it every bit as much as you do. I'm eager to do it again next spring!

    Your pictures are still life paintings!


  4. They are quite lovely, in a very free form sort of way. They do make a good curtain for the porch. I can imagine how they glow green and white when seen from the other side with the sun shining through the leaves. The flowers look rather Georgia O'Keefeian.

  5. Mary, these are beautiful photos. you certainly ahve built a beautiful home there. A lil' bit of Devon with you right there in your backyard and front porch.

  6. Mary, how beautiful! I had a plant of moonflower one summer and I had a hard time catching it open! :-) Your's makes a wonderful screen for your porch. Thanks so much for your sweet comment on my birthday. I had a great day! Blessings,

  7. Mary, these are a delight! I recently discussed the idea of planting moon flowers here. I think I'll try it next spring.

  8. I'm not sure I have seen Moonflowers, but they are beautiful. They would be gorgeous with the Morning Glories. I love the Morning Glories and also don't see as many of them around here as I saw back east a few years ago.

  9. What a beautiful vine! I will have to remember this. We planted a potato vine this year, for the first time. It has done very well, but I like the large leaves on the Moon Flower vine.

  10. I always have one on my porch as well. However, this year a friend and fellow gardener gave me one to plant. I thought it looked a bit different, but as it was so tiny, I really couldn't tell for sure, so I just planted it in the usual spot by the front steps and basically forgot about it. Well, let's just say, that whatever it is, it is most certainly not a moonflower. It's getting larger and larger and, hopefully, will bloom soon. I feel like a scientist conducting a flora experiment!

  11. I love your photos. Mary. Such delicate flowers.
    Must see if I can find a spot for them this spring. Thanks for the tip re planting.

  12. Hello Mary,,,, Those are so beautiful,,, I have not heard of those until now,,,I love the name...


  13. THe individual Moonflowers are lovely, I haven't come across these before though I do know and love Morning Glories.

  14. Hi Mary, I'm loving all your garden pictures. The garden looks fabulous in spite of this heat. We finally got a thunderstorm and some rain tonight. I hope it blew this heat wave out to the ocean :->
    xo, suzy


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