Friday, April 9, 2010

Wisteria Wizardry continues.........

When told last year, by a professional lady gardener, that it would take seven long years for my wisteria to bloom, I almost gave up. Then that same plant surprised me in April with its first two racemes of fragrant blossom.........what an unexpected joy as it was just six years old!

Last year I wrote about my little plant. I shared part of the story of my friend Julie who had died six years before.  I inherited a green plastic pot tossed aside in her back garden.  It was this wisteria, struggling to scramble up a bamboo stake, the skinny stems with a few yellowed leaves not looking too promising. I brought it home and it sat in the pot for a year.  Then I decided to plant it in my back garden, tying the stems to an ornamental obelisk. It appeared to be happy and started to thrive. 

Four years ago we constructed a red cedar arbor next to the fast growing wisteria vine, tying the now strong stems to the wood. 

Wisteria loses its leaves in Winter, leaving grey stems which look dead. Last weekend I noticed little bunches bursting out which I thought were leaves, great I thought, it's not dead after our unusually cold Winter! Then a few days ago they opened, not as leaves which of course come after the flowers, but as many long purple racemes, sweet smelling in the breeze. Wisteria perfume is really lovely.

My friend Julie was a tiny Greek lady originally from New York City. An artist and crafter, a floral designer and piano player, a lover of nature and fun times. We became great friends despite our age difference and after several years of sharing many happy hours together, one day I had to have the police break into her home so we could get her to the hospital -she was dying of a cancer for which she had refused treatment. I spent time at her bedside that night before saying goodbye, knowing it was the last time we'd be together - all her family were far away. She said I was an angel. She was the true angel, and I like to think she's looking down on her wisteria vine thriving in my garden.

Julie's Wisteria ~ April 2010

Patience is often a requirement when 
gardening ~ miracles sometimes take a long time.  
Memories of special friendships last forever in 
extraordinary ways.

For some interesting facts about wisteria, including the location and amazing size of the world's largest wisteria vine, go HERE.


  1. what lovely memories that Wisteria must bring every year. I love it when the first buds break into those amazing trails of flower. Mine are deep pink and cream.

  2. Thank you Mary for your beautiful pictures. And thank you for the story of the person behind your flowering plant, it brought back wonderful and warm memories I'll share with you when we get together. Love your stories, photos and information you so willingly share. Peace,hugs and love, Mary Ann

  3. What a beautiful memory of your friend. The wisteria is so lovely!


  4. Your wisteria looks so beautiful I can almost smell the fragrance through the screen. What a wonderful way to keep your lovely friend's memories alive.

  5. I'm so happy that yours if finally blooming, and especially that it will always remind you of your special friend. I do so love the smell of the wisteria! Ours has climbed up a tree and is gorgeous right now. I noticed it yesterday, one day nothing, the next, ta dah! They are blooming everywhere now, a sure sign of spring, isn't it wonderful!!
    Take Care!

  6. Gorgeous! I can almost smell the wisteria. My husband had one growing on the front of our house and I worried about it ruining the roof; so he moved it and it died. I am still sad I said anything. He has a miniature one growing in a pot now and will plant it on the arbor. They are so beautiful.

  7. I have never experienced wisteria - coming from the deserts of Arizona..but I've read books and love the image of romance and sweetness it portrays..and your photos are lovely..Wish I had a "Scratch & Sniff" screen!

  8. I love wisteria! It is beautiful! I nearly pulled over to photograph a field of wisteria off Capital today. Enjoyed lunch and catching up! See you soon.

  9. What a great story. I love wisteria. I had no idea it took that long to come into bloom. I know it must bring you great pleasure to see it and have the beautiful reminder of your friend.

  10. Hi Mary! I love your new blog and happy about your 'picture' solution. I've visited before and have been unable to comment so trying again. Maybe that was related to my own blog comment issues?

    What a beautiful story and tribute to your friend. Of course, she is making the wisteria thrive for you! This is a wanted flower in my garden so I must work on accomplishing a structure of some kind for it to grow on. Enjoy that sweeet fragrance while you can!
    Herbal Blessings, Mandy

  11. Hi Mary
    What a sweet story about friendship. It's wonderful that you have the wisteria to remember her. I love the scent of them.
    Hugs, Rhondi

  12. Oh boy, Mary, that is SUCH a beautiful story and to think you were the only one there for her at the end. So good and, my, how you've done her memory proud. Beautiful.

  13. What a beautiful friendship - and a lovely story.


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