Having missed a year, this year’s early spring pruning of the wisteria over the pergola was certainly an overdue, dramatic and necessary affair. In fact the whippy offcuts were so entangled that my usual trick of weaving them together into decorative circles for the sweet pea cane obelisks was impossible. I resorted to using the shredder to dispose of them and that was like pushing springs into the grinder’s opening.
But a month later things were budding up nicely and a grand display looked to be in the offing.
By mid April the first flowers were just beginning to show purple.
Fresh lime green leaves were unfurling, appearing almost golden in the morning sunlight. The flowers were going to be spectacular.
But then we had two sharp frosts.
Hard enough to damage quite a lot of the trees and shrubs just opening their leaves: the cercis, hydrangea, walnuts, foxglove tree. Most heartbreaking was the effect on the wisteria. The racemes around the edge of the pergola continued to unfurl, so I didn’t notice at first, but the rest was burnt. The entire top growth had been stopped in its tracks. Unopened flowerbuds started to drop and the leaves turned brown and wilted, hanging down like fishing rods.
Now there is very little flower or leaf coverage left, except around the protected sides.
So sadly, when we sit beneath that lovely pergola we can only imagine what might have been and if we only look outwards, towards the pond, not up at the sky, we can just about pretend.