The Hampton Gardener


Wisteria is a wonderful vine that evokes images of exotic Asian gardens, pergolas covered with its pendulous flowers and stately old houses with the vines tenuously twining up supports as they spread this way and that.

Drives through the countryside can also turn up these sentinels of long gone homes, estates and gardens as the tendrils give clues to the long ago landscape.

In some settings, the vines seem to be a disarray of quickly encroaching green and in some settings they are carefully pruned to shape and form. At times they are even shaped to look like shrubs or bonsai. But the plant is generally misunderstood, improperly cared for and it’s been know to frustrate many a seasoned gardener who may wait three, five or even 10 years for that first wonderful flower that signals late spring and early summer.

And all this to say nothing of its fall colors, gnarly trunks and shoots that are displayed all winter long in their nakedness.

Wisteria is a member of the pea family,

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