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These outdoor plants have flowers, leaves or both. Obviously the structure and the methods are different from the point of view of the cultivation in fact, there are different treatments between pots or crates and full earth. In our case we deal with two outdoor plants that produce flowers; the first is the borage mainly composed of leaves while the second is the hypomea divided equally between flowers and leaves. Borage belongs to the Boraginaceae family; It is an annual herbaceous plant widespread in all Italian regions from the shores of the sea to the hills of which leaves, flowers and the whole upper part are used. They are harvested in the middle of summer and are excellent for growing as dried flowers. The borage has robust herbaceous stems, ramose at the base, leafy, about 40-60 centimeters high and covered with whitish hairs; the leaves are alternate, ovate-acute, wrinkled and gibbose of dark green color. The flowers are deep blue, gathered in racemose buds and gathered in panicles; the calyx is divided and shaped like a five-pointed star. The hypomea belongs to the Convolvulaceae family and is native to tropical America but is often mistakenly confused with the bindweed. Some species are annual, while others in hot climates are perennial. The long stems of the morning glory can reach 5-6 meters in height; the flowers are bell-shaped, they are not durable but they are numerous, large and of various colors and they follow each other continuously throughout the summer.
Borage grows a little everywhere in both cultivated and uncultivated meadows. In southern Italy it is cultivated as an aromatic herb (for domestic use) in sandy and fertile soils and in sunny exposure; in dry and dry soils the leaves become bristly and more difficult to treat. Borage is multiplied by spring sowing. It can be sown directly in April in rows 30-40 centimeters apart from each other. After a couple of months you can start collecting the leaves. It is customary to make two or more sows within a month and a half to always have a good harvest. The sowing of September / October will give the product (leaves) in spring. The leaves are succulent and their drying requires a very airy and fresh environment, otherwise they blacken. Borage flowers are appreciated for their splendid colors and are cut for ornamental compositions in the period of greatest flowering that occurs in the months of June and July. However, in addition to its marked medicinal qualities, this plant is also used for food purposes. An original recipe is widespread in Liguria where borage enters with its leaves as an obligatory ingredient in the filling of ravioli. Always the leaves immersed in a batter of water and flour and fried in boiling oil, represent an authentic delicacy.
Among the outdoor plants we also find the hypomea. The true hypomee have funnel-shaped flowers enlarged at the edges, while the bindweed has bell-shaped flowers. The tricolor morning glory that grows up to about three meters in height, blooms in August and September with large white-throat flowers while the flap is purple when it opens and then becomes sky blue. It can be grown as an annual plant in pots or boxes. The blue-flowered variety is commercially found with the name rubro-coerulea but its exact name is Heavenly blue. The hybrids of the Ipomea purpure are numerous on the market, but their flowers are smaller than that of the hypomea purpurea proper; they remain open from dawn until nine or ten o'clock in the morning when the sun is shining while, if the sky is cloudy, they remain open a couple of hours more instead. They bloom from July to September and require good acid soil to develop well.
Morning glory cultivation
It is advisable to sow in peat jars that are about 4-6 centimeters in diameter, consisting of compressed peat similar to brown cardboard jars. In each of them there are few seeds almost on the surface, after having kept them in a bowl of water for at least 24 hours to facilitate germination. When the seedlings are fifteen centimeters high, the peat pots are buried and watered abundantly. Over time, the jars dissolve in the soil, leaving the root system to expand. This is certainly the most practical and safe method for a good seeding. The latter directly at home (weather permitting) can be carried out from April until mid-June, always after having previously kept the seeds in water for a whole day. The classic bell-shaped morning glory adapts easily to all types of terrain, produces an abundant flowering and is an excellent climber to decorate terraces and balconies. In the early nineteenth century the fashion of the cultivation of the hypomea spread in Japan, where numerous beautiful varieties were created; their seeds sometimes reached very high prices for the requests of amateurs. Because of its characteristic of opening the flowers in the morning the English call this plant "morning glory".