Saturday, March 23, 2013

A New View through Wisteria

Wisteria is a thug albeit a beautiful, fragrant thug.

Wisteria has a smoky fragrance. You don't have to be really close to notice.

Wisteria as you approach our house. I hacked at this thug all winter, cutting back to what I knew for sure were buds. I hacked at boxwoods. You can tell by the bare earth on the left how far back I cut. 

The other day I had a sudden thought: what if I made an opening through the boxwood? I pruned out some limbs, bobbed back the boxwood and now the pets have a new tunnel and I have a new axis.

I did not finish; it will take a summer of work. The long sprouts get bobbed back all summer or they reach out to trees. Runners come out on the ground. An uncontained wisteria vine can strangle a tree.

The view through the center of the wisteria is toward a curved metal bench in front of an ancient juniper (red cedar). Behind the fence is what MIL used to call 'the patch' dotted with pecan trees. In summer it is nothing more than rough lawn. The view from the bench through the wisteria has flowers all year in the front garden, winter camellias, summer gardenias, the last flowers of fall.

There was another tangle of wisteria and other thugs including catbrier just past this dogwood tree. We took it out despite there being a white wisteria in the mix because I couldn't keep all the vines out of the trees and off the fence. I planted a white crape myrtle (the bunch of sticks this side of the wisteria surrounded by non-flowering daffodils).

This is the view looking toward the highway. I'll be pruning boxwoods for a while until they fill in.  Occasional wisteria blossoms appear all summer once this big wave of bloom is done.

There is more wisteria in the mass of boxwoods at left. I just prune them away from the trees and the box is seven feet tall in the center. I read somewhere once that a famous Botanical Garden in New York had a crew of several men to keep their wisterias pruned. Here there's just one old woman, but I try to keep up. Do you think it is worthwhile?

Joining the meme at Tootsie Time to Flaunt my Flowers: Fertilizer Friday though Wisteria needs no fertilizer.


  1. I love your idea to cut an opening (and create a new garden axis) in the wisteria. Framing views makes a garden so much richer!

  2. Definitely worthwhile, but I understand the work involved. It doesn't get any easier the older we get. I love your wisteria and the new opening.

    Happy spring and happy gardening ~ FlowerLady

  3. love it! What a great focal point.
    All that hard work shows pretty, pretty. hugs, Cherry

  4. I sigh when I see wisteria. So beautiful, and so destructive if ignored. I dream of having an arbor of concrete to support a wisteria vine. When I was a child, my parents bought an old Victorian home whose front porch was enveloped in wisteria. The neighbors said that it was a thing of beauty and that people drove from miles around to see it bloom in the spring. We never saw it bloom, as my father had it removed that winter. It was a daunting task, and its removal revealed badly damaged posts and roof. Nevertheless, I always wished I had seen it bloom just once!

  5. Worth it? You bet. The Wisteria looks amazing even if it is fleeting.

  6. Your wisteria is beautiful. I would love to have it growing in front of my house.
    Happy spring!


  7. I love Wisteria but have not planted it because it is so destructive. In these pictures it looks like you've made a living arch with the Wisteria over the new opening in the boxwoods. Is this right? That is so wonderful and creative!!

  8. Here from Fertilizer Friday. Love wisteria, but it is much work containing them. Glad you still have the energy. I do enjoy all the lovely photos of your gardens. I have catbrier that comes up on its own just about anywhere in my gardens, and that keeps me busy trying to keep it from becoming a monster. Loved reading your post.

  9. I've always wanted to have wisteria in my garden. Unfortunately, or fortunately I couldn't find a good spot for it. I like what you've done with your plant and I appreciate the time and effort that you put into restraining it.

  10. I really appreciate the time and effort that you put into restraining it. I just love Wisteria.

  11. oh how I wish I could grow Wisteria!!! I love it!
    Thanks for linking in this week...I hope to see you again soon!
    I am sharing this post on Tootsie Time facebook page!
    ¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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