|Wisteria on the pergola in Longwood Garden's Wisteria Garden.|
The Wisteria Garden was originally designed by Longwood's creator, Pierre du Pont, to showcase his beautiful vines. The typical pergola-trained vine is present (above), but most of the plants are "tree-trained." This forgotten form of training a wisteria has a distinct advantage for the small garden owner; the wisteria remains vertical and compact. It would be easier to prune when the height is restricted, instead of towering about on a twelve foot pergola for instance. And it does solve the problem of finding a place to grow your wisteria where it is unable to rip the porch off the house or send the gutters amiss, etc. I am very much intrigued...
The frequently asked question of "why does my wisteria not bloom" is heard all about the gardening world. I once read the suggestion to shock it into bloom by beating it with a baseball bat! But before you have the neighbors calling the police on you for wild behavior, perhaps you should read this very sensible article by Sarah Raven, Wonderful Wisteria. She reports that most wisterias "revert back to their rootstock" when we fail to pruning away the shoots from the bottom. (Much like the growth on grafted roses.) Prune these away, and your vine will have a chance of putting more energy into the grafted variety to produce those beautiful flowers.
|Looking down into the Wisteria Garden from the main path. You can also view from here the two large Bald Cypress trees (Taxodium distichum) in this room.|
|Tree-trained wisteria vines could much more easily fit into a small, urban garden. Here they have planted several purples as well as a scattering of white varieties.|
|Here you can plainly see the tree-training of this wisteria vine. They have used metal poles as the center support and guided the vine around it, pruning out the shoots into "branches."|
|The placard explanation posted in the Wisteria Garden. The arborvitae hedge does indeed provide a visual barrier to feature the wisteria.|
|The glorious purple of wisteria.|
|Walking toward the wisteria pergola...|
|And spotting the large trunk of one of the Bald Cypress trees (Taxodium distichum) as a focal point to the pergola walk - wonderful garden planning at work.|
Wisteria floribunda 'Alba', 'Geisha', 'Longissima', 'Rosea', 'Royal Purple' and 'Violacea Plena'
Other Wisteria resources:
- Wonderful Wisteria by Sarah Raven in The Telegraph
- Pennsylvania Native Wisteria 'Amethyst Falls' at Carolyn's Shade Gardens... which will be featured on WMG in the coming weeks.
- Traditions and innovations at Longwood: Changes to the Wisteria Garden to come?
- Romance of Wisteria vs. their Reality: an opinionated but also needed sobering view of wisteria