This time last year, I was moaning about another soaking midsummer. This year, remarkably, it has been dry, and quite warm. But the effects of a long, cold winter linger one. Some plants – all the alpines and the primulas – enjoyed it. But other things obviously found it just too much:
This Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’ is now officially dead. I thought, perhaps, it might pull back from whatever combination of wind and snow had blasted it – but no. It’s a goner. Six years old, and it just turns up its toes overnight. That’s gardening for you! Mind you, it’s not the only tree to have suffered: here’s a Scots pine which should be putting on luscious growth like everything else, but is still feeling the effects of a freezing southerly March wind:
The plant that has suffered most, however, is the wisteria. I shouldn’t be growing wisteria anyway. It’s far too far north, and far too high, but on a whim I planted a wisteria sinensis in the most sheltered spot I could find, and for ten years it has done just fine. But not this year:
I’ve decided I hate this plant anyway. I’ve pruned it twice a year, every year, even in December, as they tell you to, and it produces pretty blue flowers, as it is supposed to. But not a smidgeon of that heady wisteria scent. Not a single sniff’s worth.
Now here’s an object lesson in compounding folly:
I read lots of learned stuff about wisterias, and concluded that I must have the wrong variety. So I planted another one next door, this time a wisteria floribunda which I believe twines the other way, (so that you can tell the difference). And waited the necessary four or five years for it to flower. And it did.
And it has no scent either.
And, worst of all:
…it turns out to be pink. This one didn’t even have the grace to get frosted, and it’s too late to take it back to the nursery and claim a refund.
No, I’ve had it with these temperamental brutes, and they can beg and plead as much as they want, but my heart is hardened….
So, I’ll leave you with a primula that is just as temperamental, but flowers beautifully at just this time of year, has an overwhelming fragrance, and repays love and care, unlike some. Primula flaccida: