Thursday, June 30, 2011


Grown and admired in China and Japan for over a thousand years, wisteria is one of the great garden plants. These vigorous, long lived climbers like a sunny position with good drainage and reliable moisture during flowering and the initial growth period. In Australia they grow well in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart, Sydney and the mountains.

In China and Japan wisteria is often displayed on bamboo frames, but in Australian gardens this is not practicable. However, a pergola can easily be constructed from treated pine, which is readily available and affordable. The pergola needs to be high enough so that people can walk under it without brushing against the flowers, and wide enough so that two people can walk side by side. Wisterias can be trained to grow up a strong pole and then allowed to spread onto a few cross pieces. This creates a wonderful standard effect, which can be achieved with plants grown either in the ground or in pots. Probably one of the most famous displays of wisteria in the world is at Monet's garden at Giverny near Paris, where W. floribunda 'Shiro Noda' grows on the railings of the Japanese bridge.

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