Monday, October 20, 2008

Blue Monday: Flowering Vines

Happy Blue Monday Everyone! I hope this is a start to a wonderful week for everyone. Sally over at Smiling Sally's blog host this event every Monday. What a great way to get everyone in gear for the next week. I really enjoy this day. Be sure to pay Sally a visit, and check out all the other Blue Monday Post.

I love flowers of all kinds, but I have a great fondness for flowers that grow on the vine. Here is a shot I took of my Morning Glories blooming this summer.

I love the shades of blues the flowers bring to a morning. I think they are a very happy looking flower.

Here is Alisha posing in front of our house by the mailbox. I find that these Morning Glories vine rather nicely on my mailbox, and what a nice sight to greet our special mail carrier.
Also, keeping with the blue theme, Alisha has on her very expensive Abercrombie & Fitch blue jeans, and yes, we paid good money for jeans with holes in the knees. Boy have times changed from the days of Sears toughskin jeans with the double knees!! I better watch out, I am telling my age here.

This beauty is called a Passion Vine. The deep blue-violet flowers are so fragrant and beautiful. I planted one years ago, as food for the Gulf Fritillary butterfly caterpillars. It has done exceptionally well, and I have lots of new shoots come up each year. I usually transplant them elsewhere in my yard or give them away.

These are very hardy and you really need to commit to having them for a while, as the vines are very hard to kill. This is a natural food source for the caterpillars in our area and provides food in the leaves and vines for the caterpillars every year. Now if you enjoy the pretty will have to put up with this....

Now, truth be told, I don't think these are a pretty sight.....yet. But is this not a small price to pay when you are enjoying these fragrant flowers all summer long? Not only for the beauty of the flowers, but the greatest beauty is yet to come.

This beautiful garden favorite called The Passion Vine has a very unique story about how it got its name and why. I really hope you find this as interesting as I do. Be sure to look again closely at the flowers as you read the description of the name. It is really neat.

"Passion" does not refer to love, but to the Christian theological icon of the
passion of Christ on the cross. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Spanish
Christian missionaries discovered this flower and adopted its unique physical
structures, particularly the numbers of its various parts, as symbols of the
last days of Jesus Christ and especially the Crucifixion. For example: the
radial filaments which can number more than a hundred and vary from flower to
flower were taken to represent the Crown of Thorns. The ten petals and sepals
can represent the ten faithful apostles. The top 3 stigmata can represent the 3
nails and the lower 5 anthers the 5 wounds. The flower has been given names
related to this symbolism throughout Europe since that time. In Spain, it is
known as Espina de Cristo (Christ's Thorn). In Germany it was once known as
Muttergottes-Schuzchen (Mother-of-God's Star). Wikipedia.

So I have to endure these ugly spinney caterpillars, which are the reason for planting the vines in the first place...for feeding and attracting the caterpillars who turn into beautiful butterflies.

And this is what my beautiful vines look like after the caterpillars have eaten at "The all-you-can-eat Vine Cafe" in my yard. Attractive right? Well, no worries, in the fall, just clip even with the ground, and in the spring, this plant comes right back.

Yes, this makes quite an attractive sight, when you end up with a yard full of these wonderful, beautiful butterflies.

It just does not get any better than this. I think the Passion Vine plant really lives up to it's name....Just like in the way God takes something not so attractive and once he has finished, it becomes a real beauty.

Lastly, I leave you with Sophie taking a nap. I think she has had enough of the back yard for today. And in keeping with the Blue Monday theme, she is sleeping in the bedroom which is painted blue. Happy Blue Monday.


  1. Hello, Have a nice week ahead!!!

  2. Love your blue flowers - especially the morning glories!

  3. I have never seen blue morning glories! They are gorgeous. The ones we have are boring old white!

  4. What wonderful pictures you have! thanks for following my site!

  5. In my old house, I had blue morning glories. I really miss them. I also had moonflowers. I used to lay on the patio to smell the ones at the bottom of the vine. I bet I would love the passion vine flowers too. They are interesting-looking. I was obsessed with caterpillars in third grade and always wished we had the spiny ones out here. And, I love the picture of Sophie sleeping! So cute!

  6. Oh and I wore Toughskins too! heh

  7. Interesting about the Passion flower/vine and the word "passion." I learned something.

    You know that my favorite picture is of Sophie. Oh, if EVER you need her to go to another loving home...
    Thanks for sharing. Happy Blue Monday!

  8. Your blue flowers are beautiful. I especially liked the Passion flower. Happy Blue Monday!

  9. I knew about the meaning behind the passion vine's name thanks to a neighbor who has one. Your floral photos are great, but Sophie's is the photo that stole my heart.

  10. What a great Blue Monday post. I've heard of people who have buttefly gardens. That is so neat and I've certainly learned lots here. How special to see those lovely butterflies at the end of putting up with the nibblings before it.

    Your puppy sure looks comfy in the blue bedroom...its been quite a tour for him.

    Thank you for sharing Blue Monday.

    Did you comment on my 200th post giveaway..check on last Friday's post and I'll add in your name.

  11. Oh what lovely blue you have for us today. Love the blue flowers. The passion vine is so interesting. I like the history you included. I remember toughskins too :0)
    That caterpillar with the blue is really cool...
    Have a good week.

  12. I love your passion vine. I also have one growing on my patio and I just love all the butterflies it attracts! Your pictures are beautiful for Blue Monday!
    Love, Ann

  13. Shopie is adorable and I did find it interesting to read about your plants. Thank you for sharing. Happy Blue Monday to you!

  14. What beautiful flowers! And how neat to have those beauitful butterflies feasting there.

  15. Oh, so many and different blue things and nuances !
    And very beautiful daughter in her jeans :)
    Thank you for sharing!

    Greetings from Finland and very happy week to you!

  16. Hi! I just adore those Heavenly Blue morning glories!! You have up some very pretties pictures, except those wormy looking little critters! lol I love the one of little Sophie taking her nap. What a cutie. Thanks for popping in to see me today!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  17. I hope you are right, as those worms ate my plants up. I guess they did not want me having any "passion" in my garden. I will forgive them, if I can get some of the beautiful butterflies.

  18. I enjoyed your blue Monday post; and learned something about the passion vine!! Also, loved your header with our beautiful aspens in their glory. Thanks for stopping by my Colorado blog. Sally

  19. THe flowers are lovely. Your morning glories are beautiful. That was an interesting sharing of facts about the passion flower/vine.

    take care,

  20. Happy Blue Monday What an interesting post about the passion flower. I can see why the caterpillar is attracted to it. ~ Robyn

  21. Hi!
    Great Blue Monday post!! Love those morning glories! They are beautiful! Take Care!!


  22. OHooo, I have not seem Morning Glories forever...they are great and your daughter's jeans are the "in thing"!!!I have learned good facts about the Passion plant..... thanks for sharing.. Baba

  23. Morning glories are so pretty that is a wonderful shade of blue....
    my passion vine had no flowers this year : (
    those little caterpillars can really eat a lot ...

  24. I love your Blue Monday post. I had never heard of the Passion flower. It is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing the info about it. Thanks also for visiting my blue Monday too.

  25. Suzanne , I have never seen a passion vine before.What a unique flower and I love the story.

  26. I enjoyed your Blue Monday post so much. I am glad to know the story of this beautiful flower. How sweet of you to serve up such a wonderful meal for the ugly caterpillars. They do turn into gorgeous butterflies. Take care, Faith

  27. i am really enjoying you posting pictures of me all over the blog.. really i do! :)

  28. Happy blue monday and have a great week.. Come visit. xx

  29. I love the blue Monday idea! That is great. Nice post! I love the blue jeans. Years ago, when I was younger, I loved those Abercrombie clothes. Hard to believe their jeans were so trashed yet so pricey. Although, there is nothing like a nicely worn in pair of jeans, LOL! I just don't seem to be hard enough on my jeans and they never quite get that look. Guess thats why you have to pay for it! :)

  30. A lot of nice pictures! Paying money for jeans with holes in the knees?? I have a lot of them, you get them for free :-)

  31. lovely blue flowers! :)

  32. I had to click on your blog when I saw your name (on Lilacs & Roses) ~ I live in Colorado so your sky watch photos are a very familiar sight to me. Beautiful sunset pictures. I grow passion vines too but here they are not hardy so to overwinter them, I bring them indoors and store in my basement (in containers). The fritilleries are beautiful and I'm sure they are happy to have your passion vine for food. Cute doggies too. :-)


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