May 2015. The threat of removal has frightened our wisteria floribunda into flower. Located in a prize position in the corner of our raised patio for the last six years, it had produced no more than three flowers a few years ago. The prized plant was in full bloom when purchased as a birthday gift from my eldest daughter, twining happily around its supports. It was all downhill from there.
I provided it with a tall metal support (in anticipation) and several bags of John Innes and top soil were dug into its allocated area. This plant was to fulfil my life-long dream of owning a beautiful flowering wisteria. I loved and nurtured it, watered it profusely through summer droughts, applied granules and liquid feed and checked it anxiously through snowy cold winters.
Each spring its progress was monitored, every new shoot closely watched. But it looked nothing like the happy flowering wisteria we saw growing up complete fronts of buildings with thick stems entwined in loving hugs. Our Wisteria had many leaves and long thin tendrils that waved this way and that in an effort to find another plant or tree to grab: like a wayward child it was difficult, untidy and unruly.
Acknowledged experts in the pruning and growing of wisteria, having one that covers the rear wall of their home, our friends from Derbyshire arrived to assist. Plastic ties were obtained and Paul joined the happy band of enthusiasts, carefully following advice as to which tendrils to attach to the purpose-built trellis and which to chop: how to arrange the growth to ensure a good cluster of blooms that surely would grace us the following spring. A vain hope. I lost enthusiasm but Paul dutifully followed our friends’ directions for two years, last year telling it ‘You have one more spring, if you don’t flower then you’ll be dug up, you’re such a waste of space!’
Many plants in our garden have been presents and remind me always of the givers so, not wishing to give up on this present from one of my daughters, I checked its label and realised that the floribunda variety of wisteria is not as vigorous as the sinensis type. Perhaps we were spreading its energy too far. With little hope that the following spring would be any different to previous ones, in desperation I removed all growth on the east fence, leaving only that on the south facing fence. Thereafter we gave the wilful wisteria little attention.
You can imagine our surprise and delight when we returned from our winter holiday to find buds appearing on all parts of the remaining plant. These photographs, taken with my Canon Ixus 155 compact camera, show the result. Yippee!