Our Wonderful Wisteria
April is a special month at Le Pommier, our wonderful purple wisteria blooms. The exact week is entirely dependent on how much spring sunshine we get, and this spring we had lots!
It’s around 100ft long (Alex’s estimate), running from the gite garden, along the side and front of the building, right up to the barn. We have no idea how old it is, but I have read you can wait 12 years for wisteria to flower for the first time!
We’re always a little sad when we don’t have guests at this time of year because I can take photos but I can’t capture the fragrance. It’s a deliciously heady perfume, especially in the evenings, and it’s lovely to sit under it with a glass of wine enjoying the scent.
Walking underneath it you can hear the hum of the bees and you’ll literally bump into the gentle blue-black carpenter bees, and ecstatic big bumble bees.
The flowering starts with little fluffy buds which grow over a couple of weeks, and then we get our first hint of purple. The flowers grow in pendulous racemes about 20 – 30cm long which gives a wonderful display, for about a week to 10 days. The wisteria in the gite garden flowers a bit later than in the courtyard, along with the boule de neige (balls of wonderful contrasting white flowers).
The wonderful display is followed by ‘purple confetti’ and lots of daily sweeping as all the blossoms drop. The leaves then appear and it does continue to produce flowers over the summer.
The wisteria makes a lovely home for birds over the summer, you’ll wake up to hear them chattering before they head out for the day, then when they come back to roost in the evening there’s always squabbling over the best perch!
A couple of odd facts – in the autumn the wisteria drops all of its leaves, and once they’re dry and crunchy our guinea pigs, Sprinkle and Smudge, love them! The wisteria then forms its seed pods which are smooth and velvety and stay on the plant most of the winter. They then explode! If you’re outside you’ll hear them popping to send the seeds flying.