Newest Review: ... don't last for more than a few short weeks but it's really worth it. When buying a Wisteria, you are well advised to consider what you wan... more
Bloomin' Marvellous at this time of year!
Member Name: Bellroyd
Advantages: Huge Visual and Nasal Appeal!
Disadvantages: Can quickly take over so make sure your intended location is suitable
As I look out over my garden, I can't see the best plant of all and that is our lovely Wisteria which is in full bloom and looking its best. It also smells divine and I love to walk the garden path next to the house just to catch a noseful. Ahhhhhh!
When we moved to our current newly converted barn almost 5 years ago, the boundaries were all very bare and the only plants we had were a tiny climbing rose and a very young Wisteria plant, planted against the south facing wall of the house.
We set about the task of creating a garden with huge enthusiasm and concentrated our efforts on planting loads of climbing plants to cover the walls and fences which surround the property. The Wisteria we left as it was.
It didn't flower the first year we were here but put on a lot of growth and in each of the seasons thereafter we have had lovely blooms - real picture postcard stuff. Sadly, the blooms don't last for more than a few short weeks but it's really worth it.
When buying a Wisteria, you are well advised to consider what you want it to cover and whether you really have the room to let it flourish unfettered. Left to its own devices it can take over the whole wall. We have the space and have let it run free, apart from a gentle cutting back at the gutter level to keep it from growing under the gutter and into the roof space.
Each year we have doves nesting in it and because it stays green until the late autumn, it gives them all the protection they need. In the mornings, all the little birds seem to play hide and seek throughout its dense growth - right outside our bedroom windows! More tweets than Twitter!
Once your plant has become established, it needs little extra help. Apart from including it in our normal watering routine, it largely looks after itself and manages to send its water through hundreds and hundreds of feet of tendrils, which my wife has trained along the wall and along the ground and up the side of the gazebo and along the fence by the path. At the furthest point it is around 50 feet from the main stem of the plant. The main branches are now over an inch thick and although it has secured itself nicely to the wall, I have helped to direct it by passing stray shoots through strategically located heavy duty staples hammered into the wall. My wife likes to weave it as she doesn't like stray bits sticking out.
Wisteria is relatively expensive if you buy it at a decent size. Smaller ones can be bought for around a tenner but will take longer to mature. It is possible to grow Wisteria from seed - you need to dry out the seed pods which form, which we have done this year for the first time. However, by far the easiest way to propagate these is by heeling in one of the shoots into the ground and a new plant will grow and can be separated from the main plant. Fuller instructions on how and when to do this can be found on the internet. There are now quite a number of varieties available but primarily in shades of purple/lilac/pink.
If you are thinking about Wisteria as a means of covering a wall or fence then go for it, but you'd be well advised to take advice from a gardener as to the variety to choose which will thrive in your soil and your intended aspect.
The only downside to Wisteria is the short-lived nature of the blooms. Once established it will last for years and years and it will be the envy of your neighbours/visitors at this time of year.
Summary: A lovely plant with such a beautiful evocative name
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