A I cleared a path the other day through an overgrown garden I am working in, I saw this wisteria blooming. I am certain it is the American Wisteria-Wisteria frutescans, which is found along Tennessee river courses. I had it in my old garden along the Harpeth River, and it re-bloomed in summer. I cannot find any source reporting that the Chinese or Japanese forms bloom more than once.
Perhaps Eve tended Wisteria in mankind’s first garden in Eden, which is why her children love it so,despite its rambling ways. In Elizabeth Von Arnim’s “The Enchanted April”, four tired and frustrated Englishwomen change their lives when they respond to an advertisement for an Italian villa described as being for those “who appreciate wisteria and sunshine”.
Russell Page, in his “Education of A Gardener”, notes only that he used it in his designs. He does not qualify,describe or disparage it, merely mentions it. But choosing it alone was high praise.
The vine in this photo had a twisted trunk the size of my arm. Someone disciplined it well. It was starting to run a bit down along the house and behind the Hybrid Musk Roses, but my clippers stopped it.
It is an exuberant vine, and in another garden I worked in, has smothered the life from a dogwood and consigned that tree to a chainsaw. Let us hope it has not undermined the rain gutters.
If I had a garden with room for wisteria I would pay a strong man to sink a metal pole or some rebar deep in the ground and I would braid the vines around it till they reached the top. Then I would turn them into a weeping tree. I would be vigilant about suckers and runners. And I might pretend that my garden was at San Salvatore, the fictional Italian villa dreamed of by Elizabeth Von Arnim-