Posts Tagged ‘moonflower ipomoea alba’

This determined moonflower vine is clambering up and around our old, weather-worn wrought iron railing. It is twisting and turning and trailing, reaching upward and outward, fortifying itself with the stems and strength of nature’s own knots. A few small buds are hinting at the possibility of fragrant white flowers, which will be most welcomed some night soon. The vine, however, with its heart-shaped leaves, is a simple pleasure in itself.

I was sitting on our front porch, on a bright and glorious morning, and I could not help but reflect on the gathering we hosted the night before as I observed this trailing vine.

We were privileged to host a small gathering of members of our church community; young, and not so (Tom and I :)) and those in between. The bookends of life. We shared a meal amid the laughter of children, with a collective telling of stories, challenges, triumphs, gratitude and more. I love the communal conversation that often comes with the breaking of bread, just as I love the slow rising evening song of crickets and tree frogs as dusk becomes dark on a warm summer’s night.

So it was, the very next morning, that I found myself in a contemplative mood. I was perched on our weathered front porch, reflecting on the evening before and on the ways we reach out as a people, joining together like the stems of this moonflower vine. I thought what a fine day it was and of how fortunate I am for all who reach out and grab hold of me on this twisting and turning stem we call life – and of how grateful I am for all of you.



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Up early and well protected against falling apples or randy deer, I ventured outdoors and trudged around to the west wall of the house. Leaves and such were a blur. Maybe it was just trying to see out the holes of the spaghetti strainer.

Gardening can be hard work at times, can’t it?

I checked my moonflower vine repeatedly on Sunday. The most prominent bud was swollen, but not yet unfurling. I took one last picture of it before going inside once-and-for-all. Can you see the folds in the bud? These will emerge as the flower’s petals. It is something amazing to watch if you are lucky enough to observe a moonflower open up.

I love the way nature takes care of itself,  at least when we humans aren’t busy messing it all up.

A moonflower takes patience. The seeds are rather hard and they need to be soaked and slit before planting, then not all of them emerge as seedlings. I have more luck buying a small plant from area nurseries. When we lived in Elmhurst, I managed to have a small, protected corner where they self-seeded each year. It took several years for this to happen. The flowers always bloomed in September for me there, as well as here. The girls would make themselves scarce when I started talking about a bloom about to perform. They were on to me. I did manage to snag one of their unsuspecting friends to stand with me and watch one open up one evening. The poor girl stood there, imagining, I’m sure, dozens of other things she would rather be doing than watching a flower open with Mrs. O.  I suspect you are starting to identify with the poor girl, so, I’ll spare you further misery and introduce you to my first moonflower of the season.

She was waiting for me this morning, high atop the vine, having unfurled sometime in the darkest of night. I forgave her for not waiting for me, for she was sight to behold.

Moonflower Ipomoea Alba

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