It's hard not to notice those tumbling racemes all over the place right now. Of course I MUST have one instantly, and it must be like this one above which happens to be at Hermannshof in Germany. Unfortunately I don't have this kind of meandering woodland walk experience, so I decided (in my infinite silliness) to create my own standard one. This will start its life in a large pot, and then hopefully get planted somewhere prominent in the garden (depending on how fabulous or un-fabulous I manage to make it). I'm madly reading up on how to do this, and will be starting this weekend once I've sourced my chosen plant. But wait, I do have walls too - so I think I'll get another and do the wall thing, hoping to end up with something akin to this beauty at Pashley Manor:
In the meantime, here are some wonderful examples of wisteria that I've found over the last few days on my travels:
This is just up the road from me - someone's let their plant go nuts in a really big photinia-like-thing with some other red-leaved beauty (I'll identify someday)...it so shouldn't work, but it does.
Sorry about this picture - I naughtily took it while I was in a traffic jam - but this is the perfect example of how laziness pays off - this wisteria has romped through this huge tree and the effect is utterly exquisite. Any attempt to prune it would be utterly preposterous...(yay!)
Here's a very well-behaved wisteria, slowly but surely clothing its wall. It's gorgeous, but once I started really looking, it became very easy to tell the difference between Chinese (Wisteria sinensis) and Japanese (Wisteria floribunda). The Chinese, whilst wonderfully prolific, is stubbier than the Japanese, which often has really long racemes and looks that bit more elegant. Actually, as long as it flowers, I'd be thrilled with either, but if I can I'm going to try and source something called Wisteria macrobotrys (known as 'Multijuga'). It has hugely long racemes and I have fallen stupidly in love with it.
Here's a gorgeous specimen that (joyfully) lives next door. Jane tells me that it's never flowered so well as this year. I love the way they don't prune it too tidily...you want abundance (or at least, that's what I want).
There are quite a few white forms, and having had a good nose around, I've noticed that the colour of the background really really matters here (don't go there if you have yellow bricks)...but my goodness it's lovely when it works - even though it's a bit 'tasteful' to have it, (I mean, how silly, when you could have yummy purple!) - I still think it's gorgeous. I love the way the racemes are literally draping themselves over the window-frames here...abundance!
Lilac wisteria...I just can't find a flattering photograph of it anywhere (and I've seen LOTS of it lately)....I think it's because the leaves on the ones I've seen have all been this ochre colour (not good).
Here's the beginnings of a standard Wisteria at my local garden centre. The price tag is £250 (instant faint)...but it's rather yum isn't it...the how-to on making a standard isn't difficult...this could be a rather good way to make money.
Here's a close-up of my floribunda dream
Wisteria are not at all fussy about soil. As long as it's fertile they'll be happy. They do, however, need some sun to flower (there has been a two week delay in flowering for North-facing wisterias around my area, and they're not nearly as abundant as their south-facing cousins). They do need some careful pruning though in order to flower properly - and I'll be researching this, probably about a nano-second before the end of June when I'm supposed to be doing it.