This is a beautiful, well-tamed morning glory. It is the truest blue of any flower I've seen, and has gorgeous deep green heart-shaped leaves.
So, if you haven't purchased your seeds, you better get them as soon as possible. Gardening has become the number one pastime. I am glad to see it, although it is making it harder to get the seeds that I rely on each year. This year I am turning to 100% heirloom seeds and going to start saving my own seeds each year. Here are some great sources for heirloom seeds with some rich history contained in each variety. (click on the name to go to their website)
Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization that saves and shares the heirloom seeds of our garden heritage. Today, the 890-acre Heritage Farm in Decorah, Iowa is the largest non-governmental seed bank in the United States. "We permanently maintain more than 25,000 endangered vegetable varieties, most having been brought to North America by members' ancestors who immigrated from Europe, the Middle East, Asia and other parts of the world." Here are just some seeds I am trying this year...
Broom Corn ($2.75 for 100 seeds) for autumn projects and Milkmaid Nasturiums, a creamy lt. yellow that grows to 12 feet to add to my window boxes.
The Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants, established at Monticello in 1987, collects, preserves, and distributes historic plant varieties that center on Thomas Jefferson's horticultural interests and the plants he grew at Monticello. It also covers the broad history of plants cultivated in America by including varieties documented through the nineteenth century.
The vegetable gardens at Monticello
South Carolina Foundation Seed Association is perhaps the most interesting source of pass-along and handed-down heirlooms from Georgia and the old South. This foundation offers beans, butterbeans, corn, peanuts, squash, pumpkins, and others adapted to hot summers. Each of these varieties has a rich history, including some traditional Native American and African-American varieties. You have to download their order form and send it in. But, if you want seed such as Texas Longhorn field peas that can be grown up John Haulk Corn (which grows to 15 feet) and is good eating and for corn meal, it is worth the old fashion trouble of sending in the form.
So, what about my Heavenly Blue morning glories?
I found them at a seed company not far from where I live, called The Victory Seed Company. They are a small, family owned organization that works to preserve plant varieties by locating, growing, documenting and offering heirloom and rare open-pollinated seeds to home gardeners. Along with some nice information about World War II Victory Gardens accompanied by original posters and pamphlets, this family seed company offers a good-sized assortment of heirloom and more recent vegetables, flowers, and herbs.
Have fun planning your own victory garden, and remember, buy your seeds early!