Thursday, 13 October 2016

Wisteria hysteria

There's a wisteria planted just outside the front door and although it is beautiful, it is entirely mis-placed for such a vigorous plant. We don't have a long expanse of wall for it to grow on and to show it's wonderful mauve flowers, all we have is a narrow space of wall that goes straight up to the low roof.

And that's exactly what has happened this year. The wisteria flowered in early summer and gave a pretty display of hanging flowers and then it grew. And grew and it kept on growing! It grew to the top of the house and wound itself around the guttering and into the eaves.

It became a focal point for wasps and having had one wasps' nest removed from the porch, I watched more wasps start to explore the possibility of building a nest close to the shelter of the wisteria. I dislike wasps, I am frightened of their sting and Mr J has an allergy to their sting, so without wanting to get hysterical about them, I was pretty scared of the prospect of yet another colony of them living just outside the door.

Clearly this lovely climber is in the wrong place. I am sure if it could talk it would tell me it likes where it is, but for us, it isn't working. I don't want to get rid of the wisteria, but I do want to move it to the front garden to allow it to grow along the long low fencing that surrounds that part of the garden.

So on Sunday, we tackled the task of cutting the plant back prior to moving it.

 We cut it to waist high so that it will sit nicely in the new place we have in mind for it.

 Then we set to work removing all the long leggy growth that has happened this year.
 We were surprised at how quickly the snug and hallway became much, much lighter. I think we hadn't realised just how much light was being blocked out by this vigorous beauty.

 We simply can't reach the very top growth and are leaving it to shrink back and hopefully it will then fall out of the eaves and guttering once it is no longer wedged in place. The next step will be to carefully lift the root from the ground, but I am going to wait until a little later in the year when the wisteria is dormant and the shock of being moved will be minimalised.

We tried to shred the stems so that they could be composted easily, but the bark kept wrapping itself around the central spindle of the shredding machine, so we have left it on the ground to rot down (more slowly). 

After all that cutting and chopping we were both ready for a cuppa!

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