Morning glories are evil.
I moved into my current house in the late winter of 1998. In the late spring, my then-wife and I saw that a vine with arrowhead-shaped leaves was winding its way around the iron railings flanking our front door. Neat, we thought. And being good little Pagans (we weren't yet initiated witches), we figured thus: it's green and growing, it's not causing us problems, so we won't cause it any problems. In time, the vine produced some lovely white flowers, and we oohed and aahed over them. It faded away by the fall.
The following year, we wondered if it would come back, or if it had been a one-shot deal. It came back, all right...several of them, crawling around the branches of a number of the bushes out front. It was quite a show when they bloomed.
They were more prolific in the spring of 2000, and that's when their menace became apparent. It's a climbing vine, and as such will wrap itself around any convenient vertical or near-vertical quasi-cylindrical object. There's a holly tree out front that we were both quite fond of. The morning glories were winding around it, just like around everything else. The juniper and other mature bushes would survive, certainly, but the holly was barely more than a sapling, and we worried about whether or not it could survive being climbed on.
Thus the war began. We'd pull the vines whenever we got a chance. We'd rarely get to the roots, so it was a holding action at best, but our hope was that by pulling the bulk of each vine, it wouldn't have leaves and thus wouldn't be doing much photosynthesis. But most of them are rooted deep among the stems of the bushes -- we would have had to do some drastic (and decidely non-artistic) topiary work to be able to reach the morning glories where they grew.
But, one would argue, the plants are simply doing what they have to in order to survive. These vines take it to an extreme, though. They got downright vicious last year, to the point of hiring mercenaries: some bees built a nest in the middle of the bush beside the front door. Whenever I'd pull a vine from that bush, it would shake the nest up and agitate the bees. I collected four or five stings that summer.
I fight 2003's skirmishes alone, now being separated from my wife. There's no sign of the bees (probably because I managed to get almost all of the vines last year before they bloomed, so the plants had no way to pay the merc bees for services rendered), at least not yet, but who knows what evil lies in the hearts of those innocent-looking vines?
(To be fair, morning glories are pretty, and if grown in a controlled environment, they can definitely add something to the appearance of your home. What I have is anything but a controlled environment, though.)
(Second postscript: I've been informed that there are parts of the nation/world where what I've got is called bindweed. But the picture on the packet of morning glory seeds at the nursery looked like what's swarming over my front yard, so that's what I'm calling it..)