56 thoughts on “The Scent of Spring

        1. The tree at the Brazoria refuge had new blossoms last Sunday. The largest bunch had been nipped by the cold, and the smaller clusters were a little ragged, but it was blooming. I almost paired it with this wisteria because of the fragrance, but decided against it.

    1. It’s especially pretty when it climbs high into the trees, or establishes itself along a fenceline. It can become a bit of a nuisance, though, and it seems that two places where I’ve found robust colonies have been cleared. But it’s early, and there’s still time to find new patches, especially as the flowers become more colorful. I’m hoping the white flowers I found in the past will produce this year, too.

    1. I wouldn’t have guessed that wisteria could grow in Michigan; I’ve always thought of it as a southern plant. But I was wrong. Here’s a neat article about growing it there.. I laughed at this last bit of advice in the article: “It isn’t necessary to be a pruning guru to grow a wisteria of any make or model. Generally the famous frustration of lack of bloom comes from too much TLC—too much fertilizer, too much water and not enough drainage.” If too much TLC can be a problem, maybe I could grow it, since I’m famously neglectful of my plants!

    1. It’s one of my favorite flowering vines, and one that I look for every spring. I noticed this one on my way to work; it’s growing at the edge of a road, where it’s perfectly accessible.

    1. Such a compliment! Thank you. I was pleased to be able to isolate one of the early flowers clusters; their delicacy is as attractive as their scent. Once the leaves begin to develop, the flowers sometimes become hidden, and harder to photograph: at least, if it’s a single cluster that’s desired.

  1. Lovely Haiku, Linda, and a gorgeous photo. I do wish this Internet-invention would allow us to share scents, though! This one certainly smells “Spring” to me.

    1. Wouldn’t that be fun? I’d like such a thing just to smell lilacs again. Of all the scents, lilac, mountain laurel, and wisteria are my favorites. It’s funny/odd that they’re all lavender or purple flowers; I wonder if there’s some connection? It’s a mystery.

  2. I love how the light shines through those translucent petals. I was just noticing a flowering tree today and wonder how this season will be if things are flowering so soon here. It may all depend on whether the cold returns and kills them off or whether winter is now over. Time will tell.

    1. That warm/cold cycle is familiar here. In 2021, when we had our statewide freeze, it actually was a benefit. It slowed down the budding process of everything from peaches to berries to bluebonnets, and saved them from real damage. We still could get some cold, but once we’re into March, it’s highly unlikely. I took a look at a “last freeze date” chart and found that it’s about a month later up there, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed for your trees!

    1. I saw the vine again today, and it’s filling out nicely. If we ever get some sunshine, I might be able to get another nice photo or two. As I was, I just stood around and sniffed for a few minutes.

  3. Wisteria growing in the north? you betcha. Huge beautiful vines in Vancouver Canada where I grew up, and aggressive vines in Boston where I now live. This is not in the spirit of this conversation, but my most enjoyable activity of the last few years has been my struggle with it. Some years it wins; some years I do. It grows up into the trees and is so vigorous that it breaks branches. It snakes along through beds and even lawn. The more it grows the less it seems to flower. And I have never noticed a scent. And yes perhaps it thrives on our struggle! As a friend says: I weed and the weeds laugh.

    1. The first time I saw tree-climbing wisteria was in Mississippi, near the levees on an old plantation. There was both white and lavender, and I was astonished to see it perhaps 50 or 60 feet above me. Since then, I’ve seen it fashioned into a free-standing tree, and grown along fences, but I’ve seen clearly ‘escaped’ wisteria, too. As for the scent, I did come across an article somewhere that made a point of saying some of the cultivars are nearly scentless, and that if scent is your goal, it’s important to choose wisely.

      Your description of your struggles with the plant over the years brought a bit of traditional gardening wisdom to mind: “The best thing about working with plants is, if you have a really bad day, you can go home and eat a salad.”

  4. The wings of my apartment building stick out like an asterisk, and in between two of them, down where I park my car, there is a pergola with a nice pattio beneath. It was built in stages, the second stage and landscaping only completed last year. The original stage has been there long enough to become swathed in wisteria. It hasn’t leafed yet, and probably won’t until at least March, but it will be lousy with blooms at some point in the near future. I love wisteria.

    1. I remember your post about the pergola when it still was in the first construction phase. I’m so glad that wisteria was the plant of choice for it — doubly better since you like the flowers. The wild, tangled vine this early bloom was on is putting out even more flowers. If we get some sunshine today, I’m going to pass by and see if I can get a decent photo of massed flowers. If not, I’ll be perfectly happy to spend some time just sniffing the fragrance.

  5. Nice poem and photo, Linda. My parents planted Chinese wisteria next to a sort of 2-story playhouse they’d built when when my sister & I were kids, the little house is pretty much covered with vines by now. It’s beautiful when it blooms, but all summer they find & chop the wisteria runners crossing the lawn and sending up sprouts in all directions, it’s a pretty aggressive grower.

    1. Or, as some of the more charitable among us might say, “an enthusiastic grower.” It’s gorgeous when it’s well tended, and hangs like thick curtains of blooms along structures designed to hold it, but I’m rather fond of the haphazard blooms on vacant lots or fencelines, where the plant seems to have set up shop all on its own.

  6. A cup of strong coffee makes a great brunch when accompanied by a smashing photograph of one of my favorite blooms topped with haiku icing.

    It is a good day.

    I grew up in an older home with Wisteria covering the entire front yard fencing and on trellises providing a covered walkway to the front porch. Incredible color and intoxicating aroma!

    1. Whether the mental picture I have of your home is accurate doesn’t matter; I know I have the sight and scent of that wisteria right. You and Monet have something in common when it comes to affection for the plant; he made great use of it at Giverny.

  7. I wish I had a wisteria here! It will be a while before I see any blooming. It was 18 degrees at dawn, and low 50s by afternoon. We are getting some real swings in temperature.

    1. Oh, my. That sort of temperature swing is typical here, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t annoying. I hope things even out for you soon — have you had any of the snow that’s been affecting the west coast? When I read about the ten inches in Portland, I certainly was surprised!

      1. This past week, about 1/2″, which did not stick around long in the foothills and valley floor. I am in the Cascade foothills at roughly 800 feet. The Cascades and Coast Range got a good frosting, though. Portland is roughly 2 hrs north of where I live.

        1. Ah, that helps. I’d looked through your blog, but hadn’t quite gotten a fix on your location. When we do get snow, it usually lingers only hours — and of course it’s quite rare to start with. The last good snow — the sort that made sledding and snowman building possible — was on Christmas Eve in 2004.

  8. My neighbors used to have a wisteria trellis in their backyard. Pretty showy, in full bloom. But then they tore it down and built a sort of small granny house. Oh well…

    1. Life’s full of choices, and I suppose the little house served a practical purpose. Have you suggested that they plant some wisteria to decorate its exterior? I suspect that might occasion some eyerolls.

  9. Beautiful! I have a wisteria here which I planted so that it could clamber into a laurel that has become a fairly big tree – not tidy! I can see that it is trying to sneak off elsewhere so I’ll be keeping an eye on it…

    1. From what I’ve seen, and from what others have said, it’s clear that wisteria has an impulse to wander! It must be lovely, climbing up into your tree. It’s always pretty when it’s trellised, but I do enjoy seeing it running free.

    1. I stopped by this vine yesterday. When I took the photo there were only three or four bloom clusters, but now there are at least a couple of dozen, and the sound of bees at work was unmistakable!

  10. Ah! There’s the wisteria and a very painterly rendering it is. I eagerly await the blooming of ours but until then have this vision and the perfume it suggests in my mind.

    1. I’ve always found early wisteria blooms much easier to photograph. Once the leaves begin emerging, things can get cluttered in a hurry. As for fragrance, I was lucky enough this weekend to find enough bluebonnets gathered together that their fragrance was discernible, too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.