All eyes in the garden, at the moment, are on my camera Nestbox to see if the blue tit will complete her nest. She is making seriously hard work of it and I will report on her progress soon.
Looking to the plants in the garden, at the moment, many gardeners will be keeping an eye on the buds of their wisterias. I was out yesterday having a look at mine. The waiting game for these flowers is as exciting as the eggs hatching in the nestbox :-)
The photo above shows how my wisteria is looking at the moment. But in other parts of the UK this growth will be ahead or behind this. I gave the stems of my wisteria a second pruning back to two sets of buds at the end of February but I do remember Alan Titchmarsh, in an article in Gardeners' World Magazine, saying that you can still do this as late as April here in the UK. However in December you can see that the frosty stems on my wisteria shown below had been pruned back to approx four sets of buds. I give my wisteria two prunings.
Sorry, here’s me keeping an online diary and I didn’t write down when I did this! Oops. I would take a guess that I did this early November. Although again going back to Alan Titchmarsh’s advice he suggested just one pruning in April would do. However, I do think there is a wide range of advice for successful flowering of the wisteria and I am sure it keeps changing too. It should be noted that during the summer months the long whippy growth still needs to be pruned out which I am sure all advice would give.
We just have to take a look back now to June 7th 2007 to see the rewarding flowers this plant gives. I have had my wisteria perhaps as long as 10 years now and last year it flowered its socks off. I was thrilled! You can see I was not the only one that enjoyed these flowers. What did I do? Well, I will be honest and say I was brutal with my pruning earlier in the year as I felt if it couldn’t reward me with flowers it could reward my with a nice shape on my pergola.
Oh… and again per Alan’s advice I also kept my plant watered well prior to and during flowering. I also gave it a high potash feed – but I have to confess I didn’t do it regularly. We have had plenty of rain recently so I don't plan to water it just now unless we get a dry spell. I will however start feeding it now as I am sure that will help the quality of the flowers. Too years ago I had a few very weedy looking flowers so I am guessing the watering and feeding really did make a difference to last years flowers.
So, this is all very well and good saying what I have done now when you could be looking at your plant, like I did a few years ago, wondering if the growth you are seeing is going to unfurl into a leaf (so disappointing when this happens) or into a bud that will give flowers. The photos above were taken from my wisteria last year before it flowered. I hope it will help anyone searching for photos of what a wisteria bud looks like and the stages leading up to a flower.
Finally, this year I will make sure my wisteria doesn't get too dry and I will try to remember to feed it regularly. I don't tend to spoil my plants but I cannot deny feeding them does help the growth and qualitity of flowers. So if you are reading this with a wisteria in your garden I wish you a wealth of wisteria flowers this year. This is an exciting plant to have in the garden and I hope you enjoy yours. However, even after following the same method as last year I will still wait with the same anticipation as I did last year waiting for the first flowers to open.
All photos shown above were taken in my garden.