All my gardenista friends assured me that wisteria cannot, actually will not, die.
“Sharon,” they warned, “it will take over your pergola. . . your roof. . .then your entire house. Eventually you will be trapped in a maximum security wisteria prison.”
Boy, were they wrong! The newly constructed pergola behind our sub-division home was sitting on a slab of soil as hard as concrete. Several wisteria plantings succumbed. After I had the brilliant idea to construct planter boxes for new attempts, the voles moved in to pig-out on the all-you-can-eat roots buffet.
Now, 10 years later, I am triumphant. I have not one, but two, wisteria that bloom. How I appreciate them.
Every spring when I gaze at these impossibly gorgeous pendulous blooms, I’m reminded of the film Enchanted April. It starts as Lottie the frumpy post WW I English housewife reads a newspaper advert for vacations in Italy: “To Those Who Appreciate Wisteria and Sunshine.”
This flick is quintessential posh Brit production. Lush settings and costumes showcase a tale of British hot house flowers—Lottie and three new acquaintances who share the villa rental—blossoming under the Mediterranean sun.
Italy works its fatal magic on the quartet, of course. We’d expect nothing less for those who appreciate wisteria and sunshine.
Directed by Mike Newell, this 1992 film features a stellar ensemble cast including Jim Broadbent, Miranda Richardson, Josie Lawrence, Polly Walker, Joan Plowright, Alfred Molina, and Michael Kitchen. Set in London and the Ligurian coast of Italy in 1922, this gentle comedy is love-and-life affirming. Rent the film on Netflix or purchase a copy at amazon.
Sharon– I tried to grow wisteria from seed a couple of times. It must be very delicious. I never saw what ate it but it was scarfed down to the ground! To add to your literary allusions, an invasive wisteria plays a role in Wallace Stegner’s book “The Angle of Repose.”
So I am not alone in being wisteria-challenged!
Thanks for the info on the Stegner book. Rampant wisteria sounds like a great plot device!