We have this big ramp on the northeast side of the main house that leads to the covered porch.  It’s a good-looking structure with white rails just like the porch’s and big painted concrete pillars for support that grow taller as the driveway descends a hill. 

A good place to plant some oak-leaf hydrangeas was the first thought, the first time I saw the ramp.  That was last August 1st, and at some point before April 30th I must have decided that morning-glories around the columnar posts are just the thing while we wait for the climbing roses I planted to spread and reach. Dublin Bay, a rich fragrant red,  two of them, one for each of the tallest posts. Oh yeah, there are a couple of pots of green things – vinca and monkey grass – and there’s a cucumber plant. 

Dad and I were having a cocktail the other evening, the standard time for our discussion of flowers, weeds, planter boxes, tomatoes, and my gardening skills. 

“Sis-Puss” (his old, old name for me), “You better do something about those vines over there under your ramp.  They’re all over the place.”

“Yeah, I guess I should tie them up.  Do you have any twine?”

I calculated, predicted, was confident of, Dad’s response:  “Sis, I’ll just go over there and tie them up for you if you’ll be happy with the way I do it.”  And I would reply:  “Oh, Dad, thank you… thank you… I don’t care how you do it.” 

The real reply was,  “Grass-twine.  It’s on my shop table just inside the door of the garage.  Plenty of it.”

So this morning, I staked lengths of Dad’s  grass-twine into the ground, wound it around those ivory concrete posts and tied it to the ramp rails.  Then I carefully pulled morning-glories away from the thriving roses and commanded them to “stick!” to the string and forever leave the roses alone.  At least for the last hour (I just checked), the morning-glories have proved to be obedient; it’s too early to suggest they might be well-trained. 

But now all that cleanup left bare mulched ground that begs for more plants.  Lucky – Mom and I sowed zinnia seeds in some planters this spring and either Mom and I or the zinnias have been overzealous.  I’ll just move some of those to the ground in-between the posts. 

The roses are ready to climb but they’re going to need some help before they can reach the posts.  I need trellises.  Not very tall ones, nor wide either, but I definitely need trellises.  And some more monkey grass would rrrrrreally fill in under the ramp…  That cucumber has blossoms!

Growing morning-glories under the ramp, just like moving the whole blessed lot of us to the ravine, has its surprises.

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