Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend

Long ago when we first built our deck and pergola I had a romantic notion. I dreamed of a vine covered pergola with wispy tendrils and dappled sunlight. A vine with beautiful sweet smelling blooms. (I was in my early 30’s.)

A trip to Shopko (remember them) I found just what I was looking for. Wisteria, I had only seen it in magazines. At that point I had never actually seen it in bloom. With great expectations I went forth and dug my hole and plopped that baby into the ground. And we waited, and we watched and we waited some more. After a few years it finally made its way to the top of the pergola. Pretty soon it crested and began to spread its tendrils over the top, creating a delicious bit of shade in a 4×4 patch. Did we see any blooms in the spring? No, but hey we had a little bit of shade.

Then one spring I came outside and suddenly noticed that the deck smelled wonderful. I couldn’t figure it out but, then I looked up. And there it was. Wisteria blooms! Finally my vine was covered in blooms. Of course they didn’t last long but that didn’t matter, I could look forward to the blooms next year and the year after that. It seemed my dream had finally come true.

The following spring I didn’t have quite as many blooms but I savored the scent and enjoyed the moment, figuring the vine just needed to rest. Besides it was really filling in and we were treated to shade. Finally! Thirty years later we are still treated to that shade and there is nothing better than that dappled sunlight. It is now covering about 2/3 of the pergola. As we’ve matured along with the vine we have diligently tried to keep it in check and had to prune it every summer. Which makes it grow that much faster! And I’m sure this is why it no longer blooms.

Now approaching 70 the husband and I have decided that it is time to take it down. We realize that our aging bones are not going to allow us to indulge in this vine anymore. Wisteria is extremely invasive and you must keep it in check. We have discovered shoots in the front yard and in random places in the backyard as well. Spreading its tentacles under ground. Luckily regular mowing keeps it in check. But, our concern is waiting to long to remove it and having to spend thousands of dollars to have it professionally removed. So we will start the great excavation today.

The deck surround needs to be replaced as well. Some of the cedar board have seen better days and in order to tackle that we need to lose the wisteria. I am so sad but, I am ready for a new look. We have done an excellent job of doing the best we can to take this house into the next season of our lives, it is time to start a new chapter. So slowly one yard waste container at a time we will remove it and hopefully by August we will be able to tackle the surround.

Happy Saturday

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