A Rare Victory Over Nature

I have a simpering mauve wisteria that I don’t even have to think of de-budding.  Frost does it for me.  Just when the long flower-heads start to extend, we’ll have a cracker of a frost – one of those really crunchy ones – followed by brilliant sunshine, and within days, all the buds will have dropped off.DSC_0232

The 'curtains', ready for an emergency

The ‘curtains’, ready for an emergency

This would worry me more if I happened to have a decent form of Wisteria.  But I inherited this one, grown as a shrub in a lawn, that happened to be well-placed when most of that lawn was swallowed up in verandah.  It threw up some long shoots which gave the new verandah a bit of instant-aging, and I couldn’t bring myself to dig it out.

This year I decided, just ‘cos I was up for the fight, to try and save it from frosting.  I dragged out long sheets of polypropylene that I’d bought for some other purpose and folded it over long poles cut from the local pine forest.


You can spot the 'curtain' in place at the right rear of this pic.

You can spot the ‘curtain’ in place at the right rear of this pic.


Then I listened out for frost. You can hear it coming.  It changes the atmospheric conditions (or at least accompanies the change) that totally alters the intensity of the night-time noises coming though our open window – particularly the sound of traffic from a distant freeway. If I heard that, I’d dash out (at whatever time of night) and chuck the long poles into the guttering, creating a curtain of ‘fleece’ (as they know it in the UK).

It worked.  It helped that we had very little in the way of frost.  The insipid colouring annoys me. but I absolutely love the smell, reminding me of May nights in the UK, when the smell would slide through an open window like oozing olfactory fondant, and put a smile on my jet-lagged face.  But undoubtedly the best part of it is that I took on nature and for once – possibly just this once – I won.