Monday, November 19, 2012

Waxing Poetical on Wisteria

Soon I'll be posting the second entry in the showcase of projects my husband completed recently. But first, would you like to hear the long story behind it? Of course you would. If not, scroll through to the next post.

My Wisteria and Rose Bouquet
Have you ever been to the Albuquerque Botanical Gardens? (See, told you it was a long story.)  If you have, you probably would not forget the Ceremonial Rose Garden. For those of you who haven't been, the rose garden features a very large arbor covered with the most beautiful and delicate lavender flowers that cascade like grapes. I fell in love with that garden from the moment I first saw it. Everything from the copper roof accents to the gnarly trunks of the vines was beautiful. I decided then that wisteria was my favorite flower (even featuring it in my wedding bouquet, see picture at left).

You may remember we lived in England for a time and I LOVED it. One of the things that England is rightly famous for is the beautiful gardens. I don't know if it's because of the rich soil, the gentle misty winters, or a combination of both.

Case in point: in England I had two rosemary bushes that grew almost like weeds. I trimmed and shaped them like hedges and had plenty of rosemary for cooking. Here, I have unsuccessfully planted and soon after killed two rosemary bushes. Now I have a pathetic sickly-looking one in a pot on my windowsill. That seems to be the only way I can keep them alive. I digress.

Back to wisteria- one of our regular commutes in England meandered through a village. It was not a particularly old or beautiful village when compared to the pristine ones you find on postcards (although those do exist and are marvelous), but it was the sort of village where life continued to plod along. Buildings were more likely to be mended than replaced. When new buildings were added, the most recent being in the late 1970s or early 1980s by my rough guess, they were done so in entire streetfuls so that you had three or four streets full of older houses across from a whole block of ugly apartment buildings. Instead of ruining the older houses, the apartments seemed to heighten their beauty by contrast. On one side, you had an ideal of what, to an American like me, I would assume all of England would look like. On the other, with the apartments, was the stark realization that life progressed. People needed inexpensive housing, just as they do in America, and so the utilitarian housing units were brought in to serve that purpose.

On the side with the older houses, which mind you weren't incredibly old, just old enough to be cute, was one house in particular that was covered with wisteria. I loved that house. In the winter it wasn't much. The vines lay dormant, swirled and intertwined like a Celtic braid. In the spring, the vines suddenly brought forth the most amazing display of light purple and white flowers, completely blanketing the front of the house.

So when we moved here and bought our current house, I started messing with the garden right away. I was determined to slowly but surely transform our yard into a beautiful English garden, complete with a wisteria-covered wall. So finally I purchased a little wisteria plant and put it next to my big empty wall in front of a decorative trellis. It bloomed and thrived, but the poor thing could not attach itself to the wall. Go figure, vinyl siding is not as wisteria-friendly as brick (probably a good thing, too, I can just picture the little tendrils working their way between the panels. So plan B- look it up on Pinterest! My husband and I (he's actually a more avid pinner than I am) both did some research, sketched out our ideas, collaborated, and finally agreed upon a design. Hopefully not long after Thanksgiving I'll be posting what we did.

P.S. Sorry for waxing poetical tonight. This is National Novel Writing Month and I'm forcing myself not to participate because I'm overbooked. All that pent-up literary creativity had to get dumped somewhere, right? 


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