When we moved into this house the area looking to the East, beyond the kitchen was devoid of any features or trees of interest, so we set about making a patio area. We decided to include a small formal pond opposite a sitting area under a pergola. We duly planted a Wisteria sinensis on one side and a climbing rose on the other and dreamt of French summer holidays. Disappointingly, the wisteria died, so we re-dug and re-planted another similar wisteria and tried again. Two years later that wisteria died too, but I was determined to have a wisteria on that pergola whatever it took, so we chose a third wisteria. This time it was the vigorous Wisteria floribunda ‘Violacea Plena’. The plant was cosseted: watered, mulched, fed and talked to and it survived. There were a couple of years when it looked a bit chlorotic, but we fed our way through that and now it completely covers the pergola.
The rose is just about hanging on, it pokes out at the edges and flowers its little heart out, but it is largely swamped (and since I am not a big fan of thorns, I am not too bothered). The Wisteria trunk has thickened and I like the way it has twisted round the wooden legs. It has completely crushed the original bamboo cane supports and is on its way to doing the same with the 4”x4”s. It makes me think of the Cambodian temple, Angkor Wat.
The branches loop round the top of the pergola and all winter long provide convenient perches for the bluetits, long-tailed tits and great tits queueing for the bird feeders.
Wisteria ‘Violacea plena’ is lovely climber and each year I get excited to see it flower. I love the colour; it starts a deep purple and lightens as the flowers further down the racemes open.
I adored the sweet scent. However, it often drops unopened flower buds, especially during BBQs! It has never been covered in flowers… until this year. This year it is glorious.
I don’t know whether it is just a good year all round or whether my heavy pruning last August triggered the bounty, but we are enjoying it as much as we can. The hail today (~1cm balls) has knocked some blossom off, but there is still a bit to go until the final flowers at the end of the long racemes open.
Now finally we can sit at the table with our mugs of tea admiring the scent and the view and pretend we are on holiday in warmer climes.