This week, - as well as creating a cut flower farm, i've had 2 projects, one to plant a Rose garden (which I will show you photos of in June) and one to tame a rather large Wisteria.
Wisteria is an amazing, and rather large plant, as can be seen from this giant specimen I snapped with my phone in France last Easter.
To be able to produce flower like this, it needs to be encouraged to grow by regular twice a year pruning.
The trouble is, that if you miss pruning for a year or 2, the growth becomes rampant, and it can twist itself around pipes, into guttering, and around itself. - Within a year this can become impossible to unentangle.
My project earlier in the week, was one of those Wisteria. A lovely old specimen, but one which probably hadn't had detailed attention for a few years shown by the twirly stems that needed to be removed.
(Did you know, you can tell the variety of Wisteria by the way the stem spirals. Japanese (floribunda) and American (frutescens) Wisteria - spiral clockwise, and Chinese (Sinensis) Wisteria goes anti clockwise)
January is the key time of year for retraining your Wisteria, and like most pruning projects, you need to look for Dead and Dying wood to remove, then crossing branches that can rub and damage each other, then look to open out the structure, and last shortening flowering shoots.
This was the results of my pruning session earlier in the week, - Before and after shots
Don's be afraid to take away plenty of plant material. This plant will actually thank me for taking out a huge pile of wood, especially as a lot of it was starting to rot. The windows won't be covered with tendrils this year, and the gutters won't get clogged with leaves. Plus it makes it easier for me to prune next year.
Tomorrow's job is to help prune a standard Wisteria, - Can't wait until May to see the flowers.