Wisteria is a flowering woody vine. It has large, grape-like clusters of blooms that hang rather languidly from gnarly branches that snaggle up anything they can climb. Perhaps you have seen it… Climbing up the south-facing wall of your century-old stone home perhaps? Trailing across the trellis in your secret garden? A smattering atop the pergola perpendicular to your perennial patch?!?
WELL INDEED! Us city dwellers are lucky to see it at all, let alone get a whiff of its heady intoxicating scent. So when I ran (literally) into fresh cut bunch in the flower district last week I fell on my knees and whispered to the wholesaler “Wisteria?”
“Yes.” he said…”For Gramercy Tavern.”
“Gramercy Tavern” I whispered star-struck.
The following week I was prepared. Seeking out the same wholesaler, I struck a deal. One bale of wisteria for my first born, and he’d better be good with a set of clippers. I received special handling instructions:
“Mist it constantly! Keep in the cooler! Split the stems 6 inches from the bottom!”
I ran it home. Following the instructions to a tee, I cleared out every last flower in my one meager flower cooler and removed all the shelves so as to make room for my prize. Secure, moisturized and climate controlled I sat back and admired the wisteria through the glass door of the cooler and as my employees came in…What’s that? Is it for the..”IT’S NOTHING!” I shout. “DON’T OPEN IT!”
We make a wedding, then another. Nobody asks if they can use the cooler. Fortunately its a rather cool weekend. Three days later the wisteria is still holding inside it’s little glass palace. 3 days…some signs of wilting at extremities. 4 days…some unfortunate discoloring and petal loss. Day 5 I realize I have problems. I need the cooler space, and yet find myself making excuses for my wisteria. This is a sickness, I think to myself. Reluctantly I unleashed the wisteria yesterday. I trimmed it up for a simple cluster in a rock vase, mixed it with columbine, spirea and red tea roses. Had it anchor a small bowl with queen anne’s lace and garden roses. Here, I’ll hesitantly share with you the results.
[Click here to watch Sarah’s flower arranging how-to video!]