While in Connecticut a few weeks ago I met Henry Young (a former horticulture extension agent), who did a guest post on the blog this past week about the important of “negative” results. He also had another interesting idea for the blog that I’m going to initiate this weekend – the “What I learned from my garden” feature.
I did one of these back in July of 2010, when I worked water into a clay loam soil the same way you might work it into potting mix – with disastrous results. So to kick off our new weekend feature, here’s another story from my “oops” collection:
Nearly every place we’ve lived we’ve had a wisteria vine – carefully trained and maintained so it wouldn’t get under the shingles and other places it wasn’t welcome. In Buffalo, we had a second-story open porch off our bedroom with decorative iron fencework around the edge. How lovely it would be if we planted a wisteria below and trained it along the fence, so that we’d have purple clusters dripping from the black ironwork in the spring!
We got the vine planted and it quickly reached the second story, twining its way around the fencework. All we did was keep the wild hairs pruned off and waited eagerly for the floral show.
Well, it never bloomed in the four years we had left in that house. But it did grow vigorously. The slender vines thickened into bloated things that grasped and pulled at the fencework, pulling it off-kilter in its eagerness to take over the south side of our house. The fence and the wisteria were becoming one.
Fortunately, we moved before I had to take an ax to the thing, and to this day I have no idea what the new owners did with that unholy alliance of metal and plant.
We learned – our current wisteria is restricted to a sturdy wooden trellis that laughs at its attempts of herbal domination. But it still hasn’t bloomed…I assume it’s sulking.
Wisteria on the right, along with indestructible trellils
This feature will succeed if YOU contribute! Send me your stories, with photos if possible, and I’ll post them on weekends. We’ll all laugh and learn together.