WPC: Twisted Wisteria

~

If you have ever wondered whether plants are aware and know what they are doing, just study a Wisteria vine for a while.  Plants are wiser than you may want to believe.

This formidable vine grows across an arbor at the Williamsburg Botanical Garden in Freedom Park.  Believe it or not, this vine hasn’t been growing here more than a dozen years.  It already looks quite venerable and sage, doesn’t it?

~

~

It has enthusiastically taken over the arbor, like a toddler with a new play set!

Never mind the climbing Hydrangea petiolaris desperately trying to grow up the opposite side, or the always feisty Virginia creeper that has snuck its way through the dense network of twining branches.

These three neighbors fight it out, now, for the best real estate on the arbor to catch the summer rays.

~

~

This is our native North American Wisteria frutescens, which grows from Virginia west to Texas, and south into Florida.  A deciduous woody vine, W. frutescens will grow to only about 15 meters long, which is only two thirds of the mature height of Asian Wisterias.

~

~

Wisteria grows best is moist soil with full, or at least partial sun.  It normally uses a strong  nearby tree for support, but also grows on fences, trellises, or pergolas.  It makes a lovely ‘ceiling’ for a pergola over a  porch or deck.

Our native Wisteria may also be trained into a standard tree form, but requires a lot of tending along the way and regular trims to keep it in bounds.

~

~

A member of the pea family, Wisteria captures nitrogen from the air and fixes it in the soil along its roots, helping to ‘fertilize’ other plants growing nearby.  But please don’t taste its pea-like pods!  Wisteria is a poisonous plant if eaten, which helps protect it from hungry rabbits and deer.

Wisteria also absorbs carbon from the air, cleaning and purifying the air around it while fixing excess carbon in its woody stems and roots.

~

~

Our native Wisteria’s flowers are smaller than its Asian cousins’, too; and so it is often favored by gardeners who want a more contained Wisteria for a small garden.

Our native Wisteria is also a larval host for several types of butterflies and moths, including skippers.

~

~

This particular vine has embraced its arbor in a crushing grip.  It is as though the vine itself has become a living, twisted, arbor that will stand the test of time even if the man-made frame eventually comes apart.

Let this be a caution to you if you ever choose to plant one near your home.  I did that once, and realized that wood and nails and staples are no match for this prodigious vine, no matter how sturdy the construction may appear!

~

~

Wisteria twists clockwise around its support, weaving itself into a living sculpture.

~

~

While other vines may have tendrils that twine or sticky pads that stick to surfaces like masonry, Wisteria is the twisting, twirling boa constrictor vine of the plant kingdom.

It gives shade to us weary gardeners, and it generously shelters birds and bugs, lizards and toads.  It is teeming with life, reaching wildly with its newest branches in search of something to support its restless sprawl.

~

~

Woodland Gnome 2018

~

~

For the Daily Post’s
Weekly Photo Challenge:  Twisted
Advertisements

Sunday Dinner: Anticipation

december-18-2016-ornaments-005

~

Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think.

Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do,

there was a moment just before you began to eat it

which was better than when you were,

but he didn’t know what it was called.”

.

A.A. Milne

~

december-18-2016-ornaments-004

~

“And I will never again underestimate

the power of anticipation.

There is no better boost in the present

than an invitation into the future.”

.

Caroline Kepnes

~

december-18-2016-ornaments-006

~

“It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing

while we are still alive.

There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good,

and we must hunger for them.”

.

George Eliot

~

For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Anticipation

~

december-18-2016-ornaments-001

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2016

WPC: Mother Earth

May 6. 2016 garden 047

~

“She is the creature of life, the giver of life,

and the giver of abundant love, care and protection.

Such are the great qualities of a mother.

The bond between a mother and her child

is the only real and purest bond in the world,

the only true love we can ever find in our lifetime.”

.

Ama H. Vanniarachchy

~

May 6. 2016 garden 018~

“Love is active, not passive.

It is our love for one another,

for Mother Earth, for our fellow creatures

that compels us to act on their behalf.”


.

Laurence Overmire

~

May 6. 2016 garden 044

~

“But behind all your stories

is always your mother’s story,

because hers is where yours begins.”


.

Mitch Albom

~

May 6. 2016 garden 028

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2016

~

May 6. 2016 garden 026

~

For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Earth

~

Oregon Trip 2016 062

“Life is a walking, a journey.

So, if life upon Mother Earth is a journey, there are two ways to walk. We can choose to walk forward or we can choose to walk backward.

Forward Walking choices are rewarded with consequences that light the way to peace, happiness, joy, comfort, knowledge, and wisdom.

Backward Walking choices bring to the Two-Legged beings consequences of misery despair, and darkness.”

.

Anasazi Foundation

WPC: State of Mind

February 26, 2016 sun and sky 007

~

“Every photo we take says something

about our emotions at the moment of taking it.

So this week, share an image

where you see a particularly strong connection

between what we see

and what you felt

as you pressed that shutter button on your camera.”

 

The Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge: State of Mind

~

February 26, 2016 sun and sky 011

~

The wind was biting and insistent.  But the sun was bright, and we made a quick circuit of the garden together admiring the few early flowers bravely opening this afternoon.

After days of rain, dull skies, wind and storms; such clear skies and sunshine lifted our spirits.  We knew from the first rays of sun slipping in around the bedroom curtains this morning that this would prove a beautiful day.

~

February 26, 2016 sun and sky 019

~

And it has.  Winter still blankets the garden, but we feel the possibility of spring.

We found tiny signs of renewal in the garden, causes for hope, reasons to celebrate; the spark we needed transform our wintery state of mind.

~

February 26, 2016 sun and sky 017

~

Woodland Gnome 2016

 

~

February 26, 2016 sun and sky 021

~

“One day spent with someone you love can change everything.”


.

Mitch Albom

Weekly Photo Challenge: Eye Spy

December 4, 2015 Gloucester 071~

‘Guardians of the Garden’ keep their watchful eyes always open wide, observing the seasons unfold here at Brent and Becky Heath’s display gardens in Gloucester, Virginia. 

~

December 4, 2015 Gloucester 071 (2)

~

On this mild December day the gardens sparkled .

~

December 4, 2015 Gloucester 070

~

Scarlet and orange, pink, lavender, green and white; flowers bloom and leaves unfold.  We played a bit of ‘I Spy’ ourselves, watching for for them amid the fallen leaves.

~

~

Bright berries cling to branches,

~

December 4, 2015 Gloucester 052

~

and Koi bask in the sunlight which warms their shallow pool.

~

December 4, 2015 Gloucester 076

~

The Earth is soft and moist; broken here and there with early bits of bulbs poking up through its protective mass, as though we had skipped ahead to March.

~

December 4, 2015 Gloucester 022

~

We found Daffodils and Snowdrops, Anenomes and Roses open to the afternoon sun.

~

December 4, 2015 Gloucester 036

~

Vibrant green Arum and Cyclamen foliage unfold their intricate leaves against autumn’s canvas.

~

December 4, 2015 Gloucester 046

~

Watchful eyes can be found in every corner of this magical garden, pointing out the secret paths and special treasures.

~

~

Suspended in time, the seasons converge here like the faces of a Rubik’s cube;

~

December 4, 2015 Gloucester 043

~

never truly gone, only just out of sight.

~

December 4, 2015 Gloucester 030

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2015

~

December 4, 2015 Gloucester 059

~

For the Daily Posts

Weekly Photo Challenge: Eye Spy

 

December 4, 2015 Gloucester 003

Depth of Space: WPC

January 30, 2015 depth 008

~

January 30, 2015 depth 006

~

January 30, 2015 depth 007

~

“I look up at the night sky,

and I know that, yes, we are part of this Universe,

we are in this Universe,

but perhaps more important than both of those facts

is that the Universe is in us.

When I reflect on that fact, I look up—

many people feel small,

because they’re small and the Universe is big,

but I feel big,

because my atoms came from those stars.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson

~~~

photos by Woodland Gnome 2015

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Depth

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 667 other followers

Follow Forest Garden on WordPress.com
Order Classic Caladiums

This Month’s Posts

Topics of Interest