I love old fashioned flowers. I remember seeing these lovely blooms in the gardens of my elderly aunts and neighbors as a kid and being fascinated by them. One year I grew a little patch of four-o-clocks with my mom, who was fantastic at involving and interesting us in the everyday miracles of nature. Each day we would see what time the four-o-clocks “woke up.” We even found a Little Golden Book in the grocery store check-out with rhymes about different types of flowers. I don’t have the book, but I remember part of the rhyme: Four-o-clock’s a stay-a-bed, she doesn’t raise her sleep head……or something like that!
Last year I decided to put some four-o-clock seeds in the ground at my own home. By this year, they have formed a pretty good little patch. They are not perennials in my area, but they do readily re-seed, so be careful where you put them. They are charming flowers that are sweetly scented and attract butterflies and hummingbirds. As the name implies, the buds do not open until the afternoon.
In my garden, they are planted next to morning glories which makes a fun display. Just as the morning glories are closing up shop for the day, the four-o-clocks begin putting on a show. One of my kids came home from school years ago with a beautiful morning glory plant they had grown in his classroom in the variety Grandpa Ott. Another reseeding flower, they grow all over the place now, and I always have to pull some out. The amazing purple blooms that greet the sun each day are worth it though, and each year when they come up I think of my son presenting them to me.
Planting these two flowers together is a fun way to get your kids engaged in gardening and nature just like my mom did. In southern areas, it’s still not too late to give this a try. I even grew morning glories in the house with my kids one year and let the vines climb up the living room windows on strings! There are so many ways to engage with kids and plants, and the time they spend with you tending a garden will likely become a treasured memory.
Have a wonderful afternoon and take time to appreciate the small joys of life!
Stunning Grandpa Ott Morning Glory Reseeds Every Year For A Summer-Long Display