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Morning Glory Ground Covers - Excellent Plants For Mediterranean Gardens


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Morning Glory is commonly associated with rampant climbing plants belonging to the genus Ipomoea. There is however a species known botanically as Convolvulus sabatius, (C. mauritanicus) which while having climbing properties, can be grown as a low-growing ground cover plant. Considering that its water requirements are very modest, and that is so easy to grow, it is an excellent plant for gardens in Mediterranean and other dry climates.

Convolvulus sabatius is a semi-woody perennial that covers about 1 meter (3ft) in each direction, reaches some 30 cm in height (1 ft) with small, oval shaped leaves of a medium green hue. The foliage is not especially attractive, but the lavender-blue, bell shaped flowers create a stunning carpet through much of the summer. A path of flagstones meandering through this pastel sea of lavender is classically Mediterranean in style.

Some gardeners may be put off by the name Convolvulus, associating it with the infamously noxious Bindweed, Convolvulus arvensis. The garden species can be invasive, but this tendency is easily kept in check by hand weeding and occasional monitoring. It can also be a nuisance by climbing its way up nearby herbaceous plants and smothering other ground covers. The answer is to keep a good distance between the Morning Glory and its prospective neighbors!

As mentioned, Convolvulus sabatius is easy to grow. It requires trimming at the end of the winter to prevent it become bald and woody. It prefers less water to more, but does need well-drained soil. Frequent watering tends to produce more vegetative growth, while the occasional soaking seems to induce more flowers. It grows satisfactorily on less than a quarter of the water needed for grass, and even less compared to annual flowers.

The flowers of this Morning Glory reach about 25cm wide (1in) and their bell shape combines beautifully with flowering plants belonging to the Deadly Nightshade family (Solanaceae) such as Solanum rantonetii and Nierembergia, and with other bell-shaped flowers of similar size, like Penstemon. Always bear in mind that flowers possess shape, size and texture as well as color, and that mixing radically different flower shapes together, looks incongruous and out of place. Therefore, Convolvulus sabatius should not be planted next to large, garish, tropical type flowers.



My name is Jonathan Ya'akobi. I've been gardening in a professional capacity for 25 years. I am the former head gardener of the Jerusalem Botanical Garden, but now concentrate on building beautiful gardens for private homeowners. My job is to help you get the very best from your garden, so visit me at www.dryclimategardening.com Take the opportunity and download FOR FREE, the first chapter of my book How to Garden in a Dry Climate Go to www.dryclimategardening.com/Products/tabid/55/Default.aspx See you there Jonathan Article Source



Article ©2008 Jonathan Ya'akobi. All rights reserved.

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