Wisteria in Italy – April 2012

April 2012

We felt especially lucky to be in Italy last week while the wisteria was blooming!  This photo is wisteria in one of many spots it appeared in the Roman Forum.  In Assisi we found it climbing out of small paved spaces to bloom on the 2nd story of old buildings in town. In Florence white spirea was planted along the sides of road!  Redbud trees were also blooming everywhere in Rome, Florence and Venice.  Seeing these familiar plants in Italy reminded me of seeing them in Barrington.

We planted a new wisteria vine, a Japanese variety of Wisteria floribunda “Betty Tam” last Fall by the elm tree far out in the side yard. This vine is supposed to have large (20”) lavender flower clusters that have a light grape scent before the foliage arrives in spring, then rebloom during the growing season on shiny dark green leaves. That is, if the deer will let it grow. Our plan is to have it climb up the elm (it should reach 25’) in case we lose the elm to disease. My mother’s advice was to remember that wisteria can be aggressive and to plant it far away from the house. Vines can take over structures requiring many hours of pruning to keep them at bay! (It is interesting to note that the deer haven’t bothered haven’t bothered the clematis or the akebia vines at all!)

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