A most noticeable omission from the May Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day was the Wisteria we have. Not to worry though, it’s still alive and well, but didn’t appreciate the cold Spring weather. That delayed flowering so that it was just getting started around mid-May, and should be finishing around mid-June. In the scheme of things its still a young plant and doesn’t have enough oomph (botanical term) to put all the flowers out in one big show, so we get sections that start bare after the winter, bud, flower then leaf all at different times.
In its fifth year, the vine now stretches almost ten metres in horizontal length as it folds and concertinas itself around the various walls of the house. As the path runs underneath, it lets you get up-close and personal to see the flowers, and sniff their scent (although you don’t need to get close to be able to smell it). As the flowers fade, they fall on the path, and decorate it with flakes of purple. There aren’t enough to cover the ground yet, like the cherry blossom does, but it’s a romantic touch never-the-less.
Given a sturdy wire run, supporting ties and a bit of yellow split-hosepipe (to protect the stem on sharp edges), Wisteria will easily wander around corners as demonstrated in the image. Along the way it will also help itself to eaves, drainpipes and external cabling such as aerial wires. It can be restricted, but that involves getting the long ladder out and often a spare pair of underpants. I am still letting our vine find the extremities and expect it will take a few more years yet. This is a long-term project split into several well-defined phases:
- Plant Wisteria (done)
- Allow to grow and find extremities (in progress)
- Allow to bush out and fill in gaps
- Prune for flowering
- Feel smug as house is enveloped in Wisteria. Organise spring visits from coach parties.
We’re on phase 2 at the moment, and will be for a while, but it has been an absolute joy to see this plant get bigger and more impressive each year. With a bit of help from the washing line, a couple of leading runners have just about managed to go around the final corner at the back of the house so we may even have flowers hanging down in front of the patio doors for next year!