Today it is all about some self-gratuitous photos of my Wisteria. I love Wisteria. How can you not? But my relationship with Wisteria is complex. They are magnificent when in flower but it is a short show and, and it is a big and, if you disturb their roots they will throw up suckers for years and years and years…
We had three in our house in Perth. One was on the front of the house and went great guns. I did a post on it in September 2012. Remember this photo? It was magnificent for many years and then … it died. We planted another as a standard but later replaced it with roses. We also planted one at the back of the house which did nothing at all.
For years now, all three have been producing suckers which were a bug bear to us and, now, are the bug bear of the gardener who looks after the house.
When we planned our garden in Bridgetown, one of my priorities was Wisteria. We erected a 42 metre arbour. I bought 14 grafted varieties and planted them along its length. The Wisteria took off and, then, died. I replaced some with suckers from our Perth house and my sister gave me a few suckers from her place. Then, some of the original 14 struggled back to life. Now I have no idea whether any of the grafted varieties still exist. Maybe all that is growing is the root stock.
I decided, quite a few years back, that the Wisteria were not doing well because I had planted a bloody South African Box hedge (Myrsine Africana) along the length of the arbour, too. If you want my advice, DO NOT GROW THIS PLANT. It is shit. For several years, we have been spraying it and painting the regrowth with blackberry poison. I can now report it is about 90% gone.
This year, for the first time, we have a decent amount of Wisteria over the arbour. I am sure it is because the hedge is all but gone. I just hope they don’t die on me.
Not only did I plant Wisteria over the arbour, I also planted 26 up star pickets topped with a bicycle wheel. The plan is that, eventually, the bicycle wheel will rust away and, by this time, the plant will be self-supporting. It is so wonderful to, finally, see the plants doing what I planned so many years ago.
Like I said, I have no idea what varieties I have or from where they all come. Apart from the 14 crafted varieties, most were just suckers. This one, I think, was a sucker from a Perth plant. Clearly, it is a Japanese Wisteria (Wisteria Floribunda) but, alas, that is all I know. Look at the length of those racemes!
This one is slightly different to the above photo. Notice the wee bit of yellow.
I also have a few white varieties, one of which I know is a Floribunda because my sister bought it for me. The white ones are just starting to flower.
I am hoping next year’s show will be even better than this year.
So beautiful a sight to behold..
Glenda, hi again. Meant to ask, do you think the star picket and bike wheel thing would work for a passionfruit vine? Grateful if you can give me your thoughts. Thanks! xo
Hi Liz. No, I think a passionfruit would need much more space than that. Mine are huge. xxxx
Hi Glenda. Beautiful photos. I love the idea of the star picket with the bicycle wheel!
I love wisteria for its blooms and deciduous habit of winter bareness enabling sun and summer shade on the west side of the building but despair of its proprietary tendency… it’s old and tenacious, came with the house, which it believes it has dominion over… I find its tendrils sneaking through the wall vents in the kitchen… When I think of your garden, the #maximalism motto #moreismore comes to mind ☺
What beautiful plants. I love the various colours. Purple is my fave colour I have to say.
Hi Sherry, purple is my favourite colour too. The flowers are all slightly different but you have to have a keen eye to spot it.
Truly beautiful Glenda. I can see the bees love them as well.
Obviously hard work and patience pays off.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Perserverence I think sis.
It looks stunning. Who doesn’t love Wisteria. How about a photo of the actually arbour covered in it??
Hope you’re both well XX
Hi Anonymous. I am sad to say the arbour is not covered in it. Baby steps baby steps. The plants do seem to be doing all right this year though, so maybe next year it will be more covered and photogenic.
What a delight! Wisteria is not something you see in these parts but I recognise it where I go in the world. We went to a royal chateau in the Loire Valley this year with a wisteria that was over 400 years old. Yours are just beautiful. The standard is stunning.
Wow Fi, 400 year’s. That would be a site to behold when it is in flower.
Congratulations Glenda. Sensational. I’ve always adored Wisteria too. Or, at least since I became aware of its particular beauty in 1982 – there’s a story there.
Hi Maitland. Yes they are fab but it is a very short flowering season.
yes, it is – I’ve always regretted that too 🌈
Do you have a picture of the bloody South African box hedge. I am interested as I live in South Africa. Your wisteria are gorgeous.
Hi Susan, I don’t, sorry. Thankfully mine is mostly gone, but if you google Myrsine Africana you will get a picture. It may not be a pest in SA but it is certainly one here.