A Morning Glory Warning Story

kitchen koons blog

My regular readers (thank you!) may remember that my daughter Ariel is an art major at UNC-Chapel Hill. One of her painting instructors last spring required each student to choose an overall theme for their works in the class. Ariel decided to paint her notion of what might happen if humans left earth and nature was allowed to take over. I liked all of her paintings, but these two are my favorites.  (Sadly, my camera did not do them justice.)

ariel's painting blog

Indeed, an interesting thing to ponder but a bit sobering as well. I found it even more frightening to imagine what might happen if nature took over while humans were still here. In fact, right here on my own front porch and the area around it, I have witnessed daily the horrors of such a scenario. A terrifying sight! An appalling spectacle! Yes, folks, you are about to see for yourself what happens when you allow to run amok MORNING GLORIES BENT ON WORLD DOMINATION!

chime morning glory bee blog

(Yes, those are chimes.  And yes, that is a bee.  Beeware, bee!)

Even worse than this was what took place right at our own front door. I noticed a couple of months ago that there was a morning glory that had grown right up to the threshold.

“Ha, ha,” I said to Tom. “Look at that. I think that morning glory is trying to get into the house.”

And we both chuckled at the thought. No way THAT could happen since we have both a storm door AND a fairly tight front door with weatherstripping.

morning glories run amok blog

Pretty soon the morning glory started to put out flowers, and we’d smile and step over them as we came and went. We regarded our charming little door blossoms with fondness and affection. Sweet, pretty little purple flower.

And then, a couple of weeks ago, we came home, opened the storm door, and noticed that the morning glory had somehow snaked its way behind the storm door.

“Ha, ha,” I said to Tom. “Look at that. The morning glory got past the storm door.”

There were a few seconds of uneasy silence before we both laughed heartily (perhaps a little too heartily) at the thought. No way that morning glory did that on its own! One of us must have nudged it accidentally with our foot! Yeah, that’s what happened! That’s it! Ha, ha, ha, ha…

morning glory as petunia blog

(A morning glory posing as a petunia)

I’m sure at this point, dear readers, that you know what happened next. And you’re no doubt recoiling in revulsion, your heart pounding with dread. Yes, yes, it’s true. One morning, as I was turning the door knob to open the front door, I looked down and there it was. A little green shoot—poking out from under our door. It looked so harmless, so innocent, so benign. But don’t be fooled by those little green shoots that start out so small; by those heart-shaped leaves; by those luminous pink, white, and purple blooms. There’s far more here than meets the eye—things that go on when we’re not looking or when we’re asleep in our beds at night.

Sure, they’re charming little flowers. Enchanting even. And I can tell you for certain that you only have to plant morning glory seeds once—after that, they easily self sow. And self sow. And self sow. So go ahead, plant them if you must. Plant them if you dare.

But don’t let your children out of your sight for a moment. Keep your eye on small pets at all times. Make sure you have a pair of sharp pruning scissors always close at hand, and be prepared to use them.

And don’t say I didn’t warn you.

windmill and morning glory blog

morning glories and sky blog

26 Responses to “A Morning Glory Warning Story”

  1. Tulip Trotsky Says:

    Sound the trumpet vine and herald the coming of the Plant Reich!
    Flowers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your weeds!
    etc, etc.

  2. betsyfromtennessee Says:

    Hi Beth, WOW–those Morning Glories will be in your bed soon if you aren’t careful…. ha ha …. We don’t have them but I’ve heard that they spread quickly. WELL–Yes they do!!!!! ha

    Your daughter is a fabulous artist–even though the paintings are dark. But–that is a fascinating topic on nature. We consider ourselves as the humans in CHARGE of everything around us…. What is that wasn’t true????? Interesting thoughts, huh????

    Great post.

  3. Nancy Says:

    Next thing you know, they’ll be grabbing the winter coats and scarves and threatening to outlast the first freeze…They’ll be hunkering down for the winter with no intentions of disappearing politely at the end of the season! Great pics!

  4. Bonnie Jacobs Says:

    Great project Ariel chose, and I think you should be worried. Be VERY worried. And get out the pruning shears … NOW. I’m about to share this with all my friends on Facebook, so you may be getting a few visitors here, okay? Can you tell I like this one, a lot?

  5. Martha Says:

    Har har har…hilarious Beth. Your morning glories got me thinking about my marigolds and the way they’ve grown huge since they day I planted them (and they keep growing, almost as if they’re…gulp…getting ready to take over the world). Kind of weird, huh? Coincidence? Maybe. But maybe not. Perhaps the plants of the world are beginning to unite…

    Oh, and your daughter is extremely talented. Her work is beautiful!

  6. Jeff Says:

    Hoo boy!! The raccoons are only too true to form! I used to leave the door open so the cats could come and go as they pleased. Until, one night, I heard a noise in the kitchen and found three young raccoons nosing around for scraps or whatever. I do not like raccoons!!

    Yes, even native morning glories can get out of control. I was mowing the other evening and noticed that the local native morning glory is climbing the roots of a ficus tree that got started 20′ up in a live oak tree. I have no idea why it is so out of control – I’ve not seen this behavior before around here. It is really odd to see a morning glory vine 20′ up in a live oak!!

  7. Debi Kelly Van Cleave Says:

    Beth! You should become a photographer! I’m not kidding. The top morning glory picture with the close up of the windchimes where you can’t tell they are windchimes and the bottom one with the windmill…they are incredible!

    And Ariel’s paintings are incredible! I am crazy about the racoons in the kitchen. It’s funny but it’s also a little spooky. The talent runs in the family.

  8. clairz Says:

    Marvelous story, wonderful paintings, incredible photos, and some pretty amazing morning glories.

    I’m still smiling. Especially since the cold nights here put an end to our own domination by morning glories. Take that, you little flowers! Wait, do I hear the sound of seeds, snuggling in for the winter?

  9. wesleyjeanne Says:

    Love this! Love it! Your story, your photos, Ariel’s paintings, all of it.
    One of my favorite posts of yours, ever.

    I especially love your dialogue with Tom.

    and the photos.

  10. Jayne Says:

    Oh my! I was hearing the music from Psycho in the background as you revealed that they’d found their way into the house. Eeeeeeeeek! Ruuuuuuuuuun! ;c)

    Love Ariel’s art project creations. That’s exactly what racoons would do!

  11. CountryDew Says:

    Your daughter is a good artist! Loved this story; the plants will take over pretty quickly if us humans don’t keep them in check.

  12. june Says:

    First of all…wow! Ariel’s got some talent!!! And what a great idea for her project too. As for your story…what came to my mind as I read it was the movie “Little Shop Of Horrors”…you know the one where the plant starts growing and going all over? Finally…I agree with Debbie: your photos here are pretty darn good. My favorite is the view looking down from the wind chime.

  13. Clara Melvin Says:

    Your story brought to mind the story of “Jack and The Beanstalk.” I think it grew almost all the way to Heaven. I love your morning glories, your photos and Ariels paintings. It would be hard to pick out my favorite.

  14. Ariel Says:

    Hahaha, this is hilarious! When I come back, the entire house is going to be wrapped and bound in morning glory vines. Sounds like a new painting. A leafy bower of flower power. From which you will cower. I hope you keep those pruning shears in a holster for quick draw.

    Thank you for sharing my paintings, and thank all of y’all for the sweet comments about them!

  15. Benjamin Says:

    I was a witness to the morning glories’ greatest growing generation! I think they would make much kinder rulers than raccoons!

    Thanks for bringing us the joys of life and giving us something simple to be thankful for.

  16. NCMountainwoman Says:

    Great post! I loved all the photographs and the very clever narrative.

  17. Judy Says:

    Hi Beth, Well I survived the weekend at the farm and did not see the spider anywhere. Your daughter’s artwork is wonderful. She is so talented. With you posting about morning glories taking over and me about spiders, I guess it is obvious that Halloween is right around the corner. Your morning glories are so pretty though and I am sure you really enjoy them during summer. The thought of them taking over is creepy and something to think about. I just love that raccoon picture. They will definitely take over if given a chance! Have a great week.

  18. colleen Says:

    Ha ha. If they weren’t so pretty they’d be like science fiction stalkers ready to wrap around us. I love your daughters photos. Have you heard about the book that looks at that very scenario. If humans left the earth, the earth would go on and recover from the damage we’ve created quicker than I would have thought, which left me feeling encouraged.

  19. Bonnie Jacobs Says:

    Yeah, that book was “The World Without Us” by Alan Weisman. I posted something about it last year:


    Ultimately, life will go on, and it will be interesting.

  20. Bonnie Jacobs Says:

    Oops! That was TWO years ago.

  21. Cinthia Says:

    Ariel’s paintings are stunning. What a talent she has! My husband would love your morning glories, and not even care of they took over the house. They are his absolute favorite and he’s forever stealing seeds from roadsides of ones he loves.

    Ariel must get her eye for art from you. The pictures, are, again unreal.

  22. Vardan Aslanyan Says:

    Hi. I like second picture of your daughter a lot and I think of using it as a cover image for my book – “Issues of Bioethics”. If it possible, I ask your permission to use this photo…

    • Beth Says:

      Hello, Vardan,

      Thank you for your kind comment on my daughter’s painting. I like it a lot, too—-it’s one of my favorites. Since it is her painting, I’m not authorized to give permission, but I’ve just sent your email address to her with your query, so hopefully, you’ll hear from her soon.

      Thank you for visiting my blog.

      Sincerely, Beth

  23. Vardan Aslanyan Says:

    Thank you for reply…
    May God bless you…

  24. (5) Thirty Days of Grateful Praise: Morning Glories « Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl Says:

    […] so I DID write this cautionary tale almost three years ago: A Morning Glory Warning Story  And I still advise you, should you decide to plant them, to be ever vigilant for their tendency […]

  25. MoonStars Says:

    Love your creeping morning glory story! I planted some seeds this year and boy (!) do they grow! Heavy, thick, fast, and beautiful. Probably 10’s of 1000’s of seeds produced…and fallen…

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