Wisteria Sinensis Prolific. This climber is fully hardy, however if you want it to flower in the North East of Scotland, Plant it in a sunny sheltered position.
Pruning of Wisteria may in the past have made you a little reluctant to try your hand with this climbing plant. However once you get the hang of it you will no longer view this twice per year maintenance job as such a terrible chore.
Many years ago on visiting an aunt of Myra’s in Sussex , I was very taken with the Wisteria which she had growing over a large arch. The information that we received at the time was that Aberdeen’s climate was just too cold and we would be wasting our time and money on this very special plant.
It was not until twenty five years later that I found out just how wrong this information was
On helping a friend with their house move in Aberdeen, as usual my first thought before any heavy lifting was to have a look at the back garden, well, well, as you may have guessed, there it was on a south facing wall the most beautiful Wisteria I had ever seen, smothered in pale lilac flowers, magnificent. I was bestowed with the honour of caring for it, which I still do.
Since that time I have come across quite a few growing well in Aberdeen, perhaps not as many as you may expect for such an outstanding plant, makes me suspect that many gardeners in the north east of Scotland are of the same opinion that I once was.
Go on find a good sunny sheltered spot south or west facing, once established this very long lived plant will become your pride and joy. Having said that, we still don’t have this climber in our own garden. The only spot we have suitable is taken up with the Clematis Blue Angel which performs so well every year, I haven’t the heart to remove it.
Well anyway there are 10 species of Wisteria mainly found in moist woodland areas of China, Korea and Japan. Grown for their fragrant flowers borne in pendent racemes in Spring or Summer. The leaves are dark green about twelve/fourteen inches long
Train your climber against a wall, over an arch or you can even grow Wisteria through a tree where it can be left more or less to its own devices.
Wisterias are all fully hardy and deciduous and should be grown in full sun where they will flower to their best. Grow in fertile, moist but well draining soil. Once established keep your Wisteria under control by pruning twice per year. In July or early August cut back outgrowing branches to a length of twelve inches, then in late January take these stems back further to a length of only three or four inches.
Choose the Chinese Wisteria, proven to grow well in our cooler climate. Sinensis Prolific bears many lilac blue flowers in late Spring or early Summer, a particular favourite of mine, or go for Alba if you fancy a variety with pure white flowers.
Right in the heart of Aberdeen’s west end lies a most beautiful park (Johnston Gardens) Not the sort of park where you can play football or the like but a true public garden which is surrounded by private housing. It has rockeries, ponds, streams, waterfalls and beautiful Rhododendrons, a most welcoming atmosphere all round. I reckon if you were to ask 70% of the population in Aberdeen they would say they had not heard of these gardens. Johnston gardens are Aberdeen’s trump card when it comes to the Britain in bloom competition and I suspect those in the town council play it down so as not to attract what may be seen as too many visitors for their liking. Well anyway it is a lovely park, see what you think.