PRETTY IN PURPLE

WISTERIA

Wisteria is a genus of flowering plants in the pea family. Grown and admired in China and Japan for over a thousand years, wisteria is one of the great garden plants. These vigorous, long-lived climbers like a sunny position with good drainage and reliable moisture during flowering and the initial growth period. The blue form of the Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) is very popular among gardeners, but there are many varieties in a range of shades of blue to purple and also white. Japanese Wisteria Blue has long racemes of beautiful sweetly scented blue-violet blooms on vines that twine in a clockwise direction. These hardy Japanese climbers have stunning pendulous drooping flowers that can grow up to 1m long.

 The charms of wisteria are almost impossible to resist. Draping over a fence or pergola, she will beckon to you with her heady perfume. Before you know it, her nodding, pendulous blooms have encaptured you. You must be warned; Wisteria has a mind of her own. You are not the first to succumb.  Marco Polo was an early conquest.  He brought wisteria seeds out of China in the 13th century.  Take the time to get to know this beauty before you commit to her.   She will steal your heart and then, after you have weakened and love has taken control, she will set about to dominate your garden and, if possible, your house. Take time to view her during the dormant stage when a skeleton of branches crying out to be pruned bedeck the pergola.  Early spring sees her in her true beauty oft best enjoyed from the roadway or in the botanic gardens.

This year spring weather is arriving a little later than usual hence my visit to the Adelaide Botanic Gardens last week and especially to the Wisteria Arch gave me but a taste of things to come.

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JACARANDA

The Jacaranda Tree is native to tropical and sub-tropical regions.

For nine or 10 months of the year this tree does not catch the eye, but then in late spring, around October to November, they explode into purple. This lovely tree often spans the width of a front yard, covered in beautiful lavender purple blooms. They can often grow to around 15 metres, but there are some that have surpassed that.

 Jacarandas flower on bare wood, having dropped their leaves in early spring, and this accentuates the colour shock.

 When the flowers drop, they cover the ground in a thick carpet which is a joy to the eye but needs to be raked up before it decomposes and becomes slippery.  An afternoon with a rake will do the trick, but for this reason many jacarandas are planted as street trees, allowing most of the spent blooms to fall on the street instead of in the yard.

Those of you living in Europe or the UK probably have not seen this beautiful tree – a visit to Australia would set that right as these trees herald the arrival of summer.

 

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