Friday, April 18, 2008

Late bloomers




In the shadows, behind one of our aging fences, there is a wisteria plant. And it is blooming. We waited ten years for two flowering strands, and those were welcomed with shouts of joy. This year? There are dozens!!


There are enough flowers that I can smell them when I am walking on the driveway in the evening, and I don't need a spy to find them from the garden below. They are in evident abundance, just waiting to be admired.

Late bloomers. It is easy to doubt them when they are leaf-covered sticks with no blooms. The previous owner of our house dug up and took her first two wisteria plants back to the nursery because they didn't bloom. She doubted her soil; she really doubted the plant itself. She warned us that it might be a dud. Well, for ten years we thought it was. Our quasi-neglect was, for once, the right course of action. We pruned. We wondered. We admired the greenery, and we longed for blooms, but we certainly didn't dig anything up.

What we have learned since is that wisteria from seed can take up to ten years to bloom. It wasn't the soil; it wasn't the pruning (or lack of it some years); it was in the very nature of the plant.

I have experience with other kinds of late-bloomers. Constant checking of the "branches" doth not make it bloom, that I have learned. It's not the "soil" or the "pruning" (or lack of it.) Sometimes it just takes longer.

And when it is a precious person, and they show their blossoms at just the right time, it is a be-a-u-ti-ful, extra-fragrant thing.

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