8th August 2014

You might well dread wild Convolvulus plants turning up in your garden. You may prefer to grow the really beautiful Morning Glory, which comes in many colours and dies back after summer. Both the Great Bindweed and the Field or Corn Bindweed are highly intrusive, and spread over wide areas in one season. They have roots that go down deep into the soil, making them very difficult to control. The roots of the Great Bindweed

A garden Morning Glory

A garden Morning Glory

The unopened and mature flowers of the rampant Great Bindweed

The unopened and mature flowers of the rampant Great Bindweed

The attractive but still invasive smaller flowers of the Field or Corn Bindweed

The attractive but still invasive smaller flowers of the Field or Corn Bindweed

can penetrate to a depth of 5 metres and if you break the roots of either Bindweed as you dig them out, every tiny scrap can regenerate quickly into a flourishing new plant. I do love seeing them growing wild though.They attract a lot of moths, bees, flies and hoverflies in mid-late summer, even having the Convolvulus Hawkmoth named after them. When we were children, the best bit of all was playing with the Great Bindweed flowers. Appropriately, my grandmother taught me how to recite the rhyme ‘Grandfather, Grandmother pop out of bed’, whilst squeezing the green calyx at the base of the flower. Out popped the flower, resembling the old white nightgowns many people wore. I remember dawdling on the way to and from school ‘popping’ the flowers, and it turns out that many other children round the country were taught to do the same- some saying ‘Granny, granny, pop out of bed’, some ‘Lazy Maisy, jump out of bed’ etc. Conditions: A gentle, sunny but close day turned into torrential rain, thunder and lightning by mid afternoon. Temperature: Max 22- Min 14 C.

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