As you may remember my treasured Wisteria ‘Prolific’ was so badly hit by the minus 12°C winds this February that all the buds were destroyed and there were no flowers at all: the white wisteria (being situated on the north east side of the terrace and its buds always forming later than the standard colour) did flower but was a small consolation as much of it had been removed to create the outside kitchen, flower room and entertaining room.
I was sure that there would be some secondary flowers as ‘Prolific’ usually produces masses of flowers during the summer but they are never as stunning when they are hiding in the foliage.
It seems that because so many buds were damaged the plants are going into over-drive to produce new stems and certainly more flowers at any one time than is usual.
Some of the flower buds are much longer than usual too; I can’t hazard a guess as to why this might be.
Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, asked me a while ago how the Tracelospermum jasminoides was growing around the Secret garden.
As I’ve shown before some of the plants were very badly hit by the cold weather – none are actually dead but some have mainly unsightly dead foliage over most of the branches. Others next to them (sometimes even touching them) are perfect; full of shiny foliage and at the moment full of strongly perfumed white flowers.
Here are some views of the arches around the secret garden.
Below from the other direction.
Soon there will be enough growth to train across the top of the ‘window’, giving glimpses into the colourful cut flower beds and out to the evergreen planting.
Do you have plants that have survived winter but with different growth or flowers than you would expect?
Yes, we also had unexpected cold. My Weeping Bottlebrush Tree took a hit from the cold and it is now growing new branches from the main trunk.
Plants are tougher than we give them credit; patience is a virtue in a gardener. Many people here pulled out plants or cut them back to the ground when if they’d waited the plant would have put on new growth everywhere.
What a wonderful surprise from the Wisteria! My own Trachelospermum is equally glorious right now but then my plants don’t have to contend with a real winter. The drought rather than cold is the culprit for bloom and fruiting problems here but my Albizia (mimosa tree) has recently surprised me by leafing out at last, a good 3 months later than usual.
Good news about your Albizia, although I know you are a bit ambivalent about it. Only about three quarters of the Trachelospernum is flowering and looking good, I didn’t show the ones that look dead this time.
Plants can be very resilient, much to our surprise. So long as they have a season to regain their footing, they can recover. It is repeated stresses over time that can put them over the edge. It certainly can be stressful for the gardener! These two look like they are working hard at recovery. The Trachelospermum looks vigorous.
The Wisteria is always vigorous but this year it now looks like it’s on steroids!
It’s showing its exuberance after its NDE. 😉
Your arches are divine! I have a rose which was a much deeper pink initially. It has righted itself now. We thought we’d lost two gigs, but they just started to come back from the dead!
“Gigs” can’t work out what those are. I find roses are often a different colour when they first flower to later in the year.
I have a similar problem to Kris. Although it can on occasion be severely cold here and frost has sometimes caused damage, it’s more drought that is a problem. Last summer I had many plants that performed well under par even though I watered them. I’m pleased that your wisteria has recovered. Star jasmine is something I grow here too, although the frost knocks it around.
Drought is also a problem here. The garden is totally different this year after a wet winter and spring. Even the Trachelospernum has flowered for longer his year.
The Wisteria are recovering beautifully. As are the Jasmine, we call them Confederate Jasmine here, though I am not sure why. My Heliconias were damaged by cold and seem to be coming back now, summer heat,maybe?
Your wisteria is one of the first things I remember seeing in your garden Christina! Happy winter damage has not been long-lasting.
It is growing like never before.
Lovely that you are getting to enjoy your wisteria now and your trachelospermum is fabulous. Did you Melia come through unscathed?
Yes, no problem at all. The pomegranate has suffered more than anything else.
Thank you Christina, that is useful to know. Maybe I can risk my 4 year old Melia outside this year. I grew it from a seed I found in Greece. I have never seen them growing in this country but if it got through your last winter alright maybe it is worth a chance.
I had a couple of small plants in pots that were seedlings found in the garden and they survived too. As long as they aren’t wet I think they are pretty tough. I don’t know if they need higher light levels to flower and fruit. Has yours flowered yet?
Yes, it had a few flowers last year even though it was tiny.
Those white arches are lovely. The perfume must be glorious.
It will be lovely when they are covered completely.
Glad to hear your wisteria is making up for lost flowering time. It’s generally a mass of flowers here in Devon at present but we recently spent a few days in Sussex and the wild flowers, especially wild orchids, were very impressive.
Seeing wild orchids is always special.
So glad you got some secondary flowers as consolation. It seems the plant itself was not damaged by the frost then. I lost a couple of plants to the very hard frosts we had at the end of March after such a mild winter – my golden buddleia seems to be completely dead and my Gaura has gone too. Your Trachelospermum looks lovely growing up the archways!
I’m relieved to see the wisteria looking well, I felt for you after the frost. They look so very sad when damaged like that.
What is so strange is that the flower racemes are so long, much longer than the usual secondary blooms.
You must be both pleased and relieved. Isn’t nature just brilliant
What an intriguing response your wisteria had to the weather – the blooms may not have the same effect with all the leaves, but at least you know it is healthy and raring to go. And doesn’t your trachelospermum grow fast?! It will be wonderful to have the complete archways covered – the fragrance too! Will you cut out the dead stems?
I’m waiting until autumn to see which stems are really dead. But I may remove the unsightly dead leaves.