Looking for Morning Glory Tower ideas

gardencrazy(6 Southern Ohio)January 24, 2010

I want to make a morning glory tower and would like some ideas. I think I have seen a few pic's on this forum a few times but cant remember how they were made. Can you show me some?

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aliska12000(Z5)

I've got two of these things I can use, wish I hadn't bought them. Jackson & Perkins>garden structures>pillars and trellises. They also now have some of those pretty European-style narrower decorative metal ones. But they're not cheap.

I might use one of what I have, train one up one or two trees with help from chicken wire or mesh, train one up to climb my front porch.

One thing I've seen here that is charming is someone cobbled together a twig trellis. I've saved a bunch of white birch but don't think I can make one sturdy enough.

Another cheap idea is do like the rose people do. Pound a tripod of 5/8" rebar and hook into a tripod at the top with some kind of car part, think it's a hose clamp you can pull on to tighten.

If you're handy you can do all sorts of things. An old stepladder tied to stakes, painted, tumble it over that.

Up against a house or wall, a cheaper trellis or something you can cobble together, lattice, etc.

The one thing about morning glories is that once they get going, they'll try to strangle other plants in their way. Plus they self seed, but I haven't found that a huge problem, just yank them out when they're small.

Oh, and I tumbled a smaller blue one over an old milk can, slightly dented, somebody had painted white I fished out of garbage, wove the vines through the handles and around to get them started, very pretty effect except someone I hired chopped it off at the roots installing landscape barrier, was devastated.

Hope this gets your creatives juices flowing.

They would also work on something like this I made for my clematis, turned an old coat rack upside down, anchored it on a piece of rebar running up the central cylinder and added a gazing ball.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 4:27PM
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aliska12000(Z5)

I found that one, it's at the useful link below, this forum, different thread.

Scroll about 3/4 way down page.

Here is a link that might be useful: New Annnual Beds . . . .twig trellis photo thread GW WS

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 4:41PM
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lgslgs(z6 SE ohio)

Here's my version - had to relocate my morning glories after our fence fell down. It was doing pretty good despite the damage from my neighbor's drunk grandson turning his car around in our ditch, but then the winds from hurricane something-or-other finished it off.

Can you tell I'm still a bit annoyed about our fence being damaged? I now have several barberry bushes out there. I don't much care for barberry but they do have their uses.

The photo was taken just after the plants were transplanted. A few weeks later it was gorgeous. And with the morning glories on the porch it was easy to save seeds and keep volunteers out of the garden. The central support is just a metal T post.

Lynda

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 5:44PM
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aliska12000(Z5)

Lynda, do you think I could plant mine in a kitty litter bucket or large, nice 5 gallon pot w/drainage holes and train them up a 4X4 post that supports the overhang on my porch? Actually I do have two posts and would like to arch them across to meet at the center of however high they might go and avoid using up the ground at that spot.

Sorry about your fence. I can relate to an annoyance like that, had something wrecked here by a nice neighbor who really didn't mean to, haven't recovered from it.

All the above in spite of my high falutin' ideas. Those umbrella towers would have to be sited so they fit in aesthetically, and there's no good spot. The top hoops are HUGE, and I didn't realize that, originally wanted them for roses where most climber canes do not survive our winters w/o protection. Protecting long canes is iffy and a huge hassle.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 6:27PM
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lgslgs(z6 SE ohio)

aliska - kitty litter bucket or 5 gallon pot would be fine. You don't HAVE to use a 5 gallon bucket. :)

As for climbing the porch posts, you might need to tie on strings here and there to give them something to grip on to - depends on your poles. I was thinking of doing something just like that (right down to two buckets and hanging a cross rope so they can meet in between posts) this coming year - only for hyacinth beans instead of MGs.

Not sure if I'll go with a morning glory mountain this year, or a hyacinth bean arch, or maybe just some cannas in 5 gallon buckets on the porch. The hummingbirds like the cannas so much that I might end up going with that one.

Lynda

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 7:12PM
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aliska12000(Z5)

Lynda, yeah morning glories aren't top priority right now but if I get to it . . . .

"As for climbing the porch posts, you might need to tie on strings here and there to give them something to grip on to - depends on your poles. I was thinking of doing something just like that (right down to two buckets and hanging a cross rope so they can meet in between posts) this coming year"

Suspended strings would be good and easy enough to do. Wrapping in chicken wire sometimes works but I notice my clems don't really like to grab with their tendrils on it, but I can weave the first ones through, then the rest will kind of climb over the others.

In our first house, it was an old fixer upper but had a nice unenclosed front porch. Somehow I tied strings all the way around suspended from high, planted scarlet runner beans (very easy, just poke down in some cleared space) and by the end of summer I had some pretty red flowers and nice shaded porch, couldn't see the strings. Those things grow fast!

Plus I cooked up the young beans which are very similar to Italian green beans.

But the blue morning glories would really look nice framing my (this house smaller) front porch. Somebody posted a photo on a thread here, and they were gorgeous. I think I'd need help getting a rope across the top the way the steps are. That would be doable. I don't dare climb the taller ladders, have a nice step ladder with a grab bar on top, helps a lot around here.

People around here grow them hanging over fences of one kind or another, even the wooden ones. Looks neat, and after a few years, they get very thick and dense.

Thanks for the advice!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 8:06PM
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mechele211(TN 6b)

Here's a link to a thread showing vine tower photos posted by mmqchdygg. About half way down the thread she has another photo and posted the link to the BH&G site where the directions came from. I have that link saved on my computer for future use.

Here is a link that might be useful: mmqchdygg's vine towers

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 8:16PM
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Margie Crawford(6A)

Oh, I really like that tower. My husband had agreed to try to make some obelisks this winter, but now I'm thinking that these would be great, too. You can't have too many vines!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 8:51PM
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ninjabut(USDA z 8,CA)

I went to Recycletown at the dump and found an old patio umbrella with a ripped canvas for a couple of bucks.I took off the canvas. I made a stand with a piece of plastic pipe, some cement and a 3 gal planter. I inserted this in one of those round aluminum feed containers. I filled this with soil and planted my MGs in that. They climbed to the top, but I didn't get them started early enough to follow down the "arms" of the umbrella. I'll probably have to train them to grow "down".
Also, if you do this, I would somehow attach the 3 gal planter to the aluminum container. Less tipping over in the wind.
I did use string to get things started climbing.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 9:02PM
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conniejw

Here's a link to a great video that you may find useful. I plan to build one for my MG's this year. Of course all my plans don't get finished, but I hope this one does.
Connie JW

PS If the link doesn't work, it's on Fine Gardening mags site.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to Build a Garden Tuteur

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 12:37AM
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donn_(7b-8a)

Early last spring. Constructed from stainless steel, bamboo and willow. About 10' tall:

Later, self-sown MGs starting to grow. The stainless center section is set in concrete, and each bamboo upright rests on a 4' length of rebar, driven 2' into the ground:

Still later:

They eventually covered it completely, but I didn't get a photo.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 7:24AM
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aliska12000(Z5)

Good stuff, people! That video is just what I needed to make a rustic trellis out of my birch branches.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 10:03AM
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conniejw

Awesome tower Donn, I bet it was beautiful when full to the top. I like the way you anchored it. When I build mine, I'll have to anchor it in concrete too. The winds can be fearsome where it will be standing. Good job

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 6:37PM
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auntyara(5a)

I agree,
very awesome donn!
My MG tower is a half whiskey barrel with an 8' 4by4 post cemented in it. My son built me a bird house and I gorilla glued it to the top. Sparrows raise their babies there. I plant petunias and creeping forget me nots to fill in the bottom.
:)Laura

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 7:11PM
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auntyara(5a)

I forgot to say...
I stapled chicken wire around the post to help the climbing.
:)Laura

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 7:14PM
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gardencrazy(6 Southern Ohio)

Oh my! I love them all. They are all so pretty. There are alot of creative idea's here. I will not be able to choose one. I want them all. I just love looking at everyone's pictures. I can almost forget that it is January and cold outside. Thank you all for the very nice ideas.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 8:35PM
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not_a_contessa(z5b S Central PA mtns.)

My DH built one of these a few years ago for me. It has held up very nicely over the years. The plans for it are included in the article.

Mary

Here is a link that might be useful: Vine Pole

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 9:43PM
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floodthelast(5 N. OH)

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 10:50AM
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pamchesbay

floodthelast - that's very enticing! Do you know where I can find directions? We have plenty of wood saplings but I can't tell what is holding it together - screening?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 11:15PM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

This is something I've been meaning to do for some time, maybe you can try it:
http://www.finegardening.com/how-to/articles/build-rustic-tuteur.aspx
I usually use heavy twigs and try to get them into a tripod shape, but late last year I got these little items from Lee Valley - they consist of three holders for such stakes (molded together in a tripod shape) and come in different diameters for different sized stakes. They keep the takes together at the top and you can just poke them in the ground. Will see how they work.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 6:30AM
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floodthelast(5 N. OH)

Hmm let me see if I can find a pic with some detail. I used left over garden wire and twine and even a little bit of yarn when I ran out of the other two or couldn't find it, lol. Unfortunately It is right over a large batch of maple tree roots so I couldn't plant the sticks deep enough to hold them up when my ground floods. I had to give it some extra support with a garden stake but it pretty much disappears when the Morning Glories cover over it.
This one shows the scale and some of the ties.

This one has more ties and my kitty, I moved the catnip there and he loved it.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 2:23PM
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