Friday, October 15, 2010

Purple Passion Bee Food . .

One of the many reasons spring is such a joyous season for me - the deliciously scented Wisteria sinensis, Wisteria, with all her over the top purpleness ! The bees love this flower , the great carpet covering a pergola in the Hamilton Gardens, outside the Wintec Hort campus staff room, has many honey bees foraging even on a cool windy day. It was difficult, but I managed to keep the door open just to allow the scent to drift through . .

Wisteria grows well in our temperate climate, often the vines entwine and a great mangle of knotty wood happens. Out at a wonderful old home and garden called `Woodlands`, in the countryside not far from where I live, there is an ancient old wisteria that is over 100yrs old now and still flowering in spring. The scent alone is a reason to plant this vine, it is so divine. Soft green leaves follow the flowers making a dappled light effect over summer. Deciduous, the Wisteria vine will clamber over most things, I have seen it draped along a fence, up and over an old shed and very prettily arranged hanging down in racemes all the way along a veranda front - birds build nests in it - it is just an all round spring/summer delight ..

Always prune back reasonably hard after flowering, don`t leave it till later as the next years flowers are on the new growth and you don`t want to loose those ! There is a pretty white variety which is in flower along the front of the pavilion at the Hamilton Gardens, it never seems to be as flamboyant as the purple one . .


Joan said...

The colour! Beautiful photos.

juliet said...

I've just discovered your blog and am blown away by the photo of the bees! I've been looking at the wisteria too, and smelling it, as I walk along the street.
I am not a bee keeper but I am fascinated by bees and put bee stories and observations in my latest book, Dancing with the Seasons.

Mad Bush Farm said...

Hello Ngaio

Long time no talk. I hope you are well. The Wisteria is glorious. I used to have one at my old place before I moved here to the farm. I hope your bees are doing well. A lovely man named Pierre I know keeps hives but sadly he has lost several to Varroa mite such a worry for beekeepers. He only has one hive left one other was attacked by those horrible german wasps. He's asked me if he can keep his his hive here on my farm. I've given him my blessing and we're going to plant more Manuka for his little friends to enjoy.

Take good care and all my love