In the area of East Texas where I grew up, lavish blooms of a vigorous climbing vine grew not only in back yards and trailing over porches, but also in the woods, where it draped over tree branches, adding clouds of light purple clusters of fragrant flower clusters to the late Spring landscapes. When I go back there even now I watch for the extravagant (if invasive) Wisteria that is loved by many.
A number of years ago I began to admire another vine that grows in our part of Southeast Texas that is also called Wisteria. It is named Evergreen Wisteria because of its hardiness and its ability to bloom summer through fall. Its smaller clusters of deep, rich purple make it a spectacular garden plant.For support, ours shares a small gazebo with a Peggy Martin rose. As much as I like these lovely purple blossoms, I recently learned something about the plant that makes me admire it even more. It doesn’t just soak up soil nutrients and water – it gives back!
This vine is not in the same family as our Wisteria in the woods, which some call Chinese Wisteria. This plant is a legume, and much like other legumes, evergreen wisteria fixes nitrogen in the soil, which enhances the amount of nitrogen available for other plants growing nearby, It is a good companion plant for others which are heavy nitrogen feeders.
Along with the many other lessons learned in the garden, my lovely Evergreen Wisteria reminds me of the value in perserverance, the joy of sharing beauty, the need for being trained on a Trellis that does not fail, and – that as I have been given, so I must give so that those who share my garden space can thrive.
“Beauty, youth, and strength are flowers, but fading seen.
Duty, faith, and love are roots and evergreen,”
~fom the Old Knight,by George Peele