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all hail the stupid wisteria

Sunday, February 06, 2011


that's the caption i put on this picture. wisteria is the most frustrating plant. this one is ancient and grows right at the edge of our driveway. the little building is a tiny version of a schoolhouse--the original property owner was a mason, among many other things, and he dismantled and moved a section of a schoolhouse to our property and rebuilt it. used it to store his lawnmowers. quite the garden shed. you can see rob's garden train in the foreground.
anyway--back to the wisteria--it is a crazy invasive plant--sending runners just below ground for endless feet--to sprout and become another wisteria. there is a piece of this plant about thirty feet away from the mother plant--climbing into a tree on the neighbors property. very picturesque.
the problem with wisteria (at least these old clones) is that they only bloom when the spirit moves them. i have read all the theories about how to get them to bloom reliably. so far my own opinion is--they bloom when they freaking please, so shut the he)) up and go away. winter pruning, summer pruning, irrigation, fertilizer, root pruning--been there--done it all.
the problem is when they do bloom they will steal your heart away. especially here in northern indiana, where they aren't that familiar of a sight. we live on a busy highway and this crazy plant literally stops traffic when it has its mojo on. i meet a lot of complete strangers who stop at the house to ask what it is. often i dig a chunk up and send them home, along with the obligatory caution never NEVER to plant it where it can climb on the house--unless you have a plant destruction clause in your homeowners policy. they can (and will--i have seen it) tear the roof right off your house.
this plant is kind of allegorical to our weight loss journey. weight is usually a huge and invasive issue in our lives. it sends its crazy runners out in every direction, where the issue sprouts and climbs into all our thoughts and actions, twining around and choking out anything but itself. its not a pretty creature, but it overpowers anything.
then one day we choose to confront the problem--not in a temporary way--like root pruning or extra watering--but in a fundamental way and everything changes. the flowers burst forth and the beauty that radiates out makes everyone and everything stop and take notice. the plant continues to grow, but the new branches and trusses are ALL of a kind that will make flowers in the future--not just a lot of useless vegtation that does nothing but increase the size of the problem. and we flower not just every once in awhile, but all the time.
the wisteria may never get to that point--but we can.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • KINSBAILE
    I used to see a lot of wisteria in NC when I lived in Chapel Hill. I don't see it in Indiana that much! However, probably grows quite wild in KY.
    3088 days ago
  • BEAD-MAKER
    I was surprised to see wisteria blooming in north Florida when we lived there. It is so beautiful in the short time it blooms.
    I LOVE your background photo!
    3089 days ago
  • BLEGNER1
    We can and we will
    3089 days ago
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