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Wisteria Tale

Wisteria buds

The wisteria that has climbed the arbor over our piazza was planted late in the summer of 1990. There was a delay in finishing the arbor and I didn’t realize that wisteria needed good rich soil. The poor wisteria was in trouble right from the start.

In 1999 we said if it hadn’t reached the top of the arbor by the following year, we were going to give up and pull it out.  Thus threatened it did reach the top in 2000 and spread out across the arbor creating beautiful shade that not only kept the house cool, it changed the quality of light in our living room. We felt we were living in a green glade.

It grew well, and sent out green shoots here and there in the garden that needed to be weeded out. I feared wisteria was too tender for Heath, but it is hardy and likes sending out new shoots from the roots. No flowers though, until  2007. Then it bloomed magnificently! I couldn’t stop going outside to admire it a dozen times a day. That winter was bitter and there was enormous winterkill.

No blooms in 2008 or 2009. It was only slowly recovering from the dieback. I didn’t have the shady, or that mysterious light in my living room.  In early April I looked at the tight brown buds that looked dead. I was sure they were dead. Nothing seemed to be happening. I threatened that if the wisteria didn’t show some good green growth I was going to cut it down.

And now look – I came home from my weekend in the Big City and all of a sudden the wisteria is covered with flower buds. They look odd at this point, but in another week or so I’ll have magnificent bloom.  Maybe this wisteria just needs regular threats.

Wisteria flower buds and leaf-lets

There is bloom everywhere – and plant lust is in bloom as well. There are plant sales this weekend at Nasami Nursery in Whately, and at Wilder Hill Gardens in Conway on Saturday and Sunday. Check their websites for full information.  The Massachusetts Horticultural Society is having its Annual Herb Sale on May 8 from 9 – 1 pm in Wellseley and on May 22 there is the MassHort and Society Row Plant Sale 9:00 AM – MHS Members Hour, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM – General Public
The MassHort and Society Row Plant Sale features thousands of perennials, fifteen local plant societies, garden tours, plant demo stage and the Master Gardener Help Desk.

Friends of the Sunderland Library are having a Book and Plant Sale on Saturday, May 15 from 9-3 pm. Baked Goods too.  Mark your calendars. Lots of excellent plant sales.

4 comments to Wisteria Tale

  • Looking at your wisteria (which SHOULD be too delicate for the area and would be at anyone else’s house) always makes me happy. I’m glad it’s still trying…….

  • Actually, there is some truth to that ‘threatening’ thing. The owner of a local garden center told me several years ago that stress actually DOES spur a wisteria to bloom. She said you can gouge the roots and it will many times cause it to bloom if it hasn’t before.

  • Pat

    Tinky – It is going to put on quite a show!
    Kylee – It is interesting that you mention the efficacy of threat. I have heard that you can beat a non-bearing apple tree with chains, to beat it into submission and fruitfullness. One skeptical theory is that the beating knocks all the bad bugs out of the bark.

  • mona

    when I purchased mine it had two blooms on it so I enjoyed them and then planted my wisteria well that was three years ago and this will be the fourth spring so I hope it does produce some blooms this year, it is much bigger so I am keeping my fingers crossed

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