Monday 11 June 2012

Wisteria - Uncut.

Wisteria pruning can seem daunting but if you love the fragrant racemes of delicate flowers but really can't face all that precise snipping in July (new shoots to 6 leaves) and again in January (shoots to two or three buds) just find the right spot and let it run wild!

This wisteria has a wonderfully wild exuberance about it which is lost when the plant is elegantly trained and restrained flat against a house, I love the sheer size and untamed extravagance of it. Untouched by secateurs for 16 years it is smothered in flower every year and fills the air with the most beautiful scent. (This picture does not do it justice.) Smothering a drab apple tree in my town garden the climber flowers late compared to other wisterias. I can't be sure of the cultivar as it was already in the garden, a thin, unpromising set of twigs pointing up an apple tree. It has never failed to produce a dramatic display despite my failure to prune or feed! The only slight management has been to unceremoniously lop off bits which grow  low over the lawn when they begin to poke people in the eye. It has the apple tree in a tight embrace, or is it a strangle hold? For now the tree is surviving, blooms and fruits despite its burden. Wisteria is really rather a magnificent garden thug by nature so if you want a mound of trouble free bloom in late spring or early summer find the right place  and set one free.