This past spring, the wisteria vines at the front of our house in Daglan grew leaves like champions, but failed to flower. What could have gone wrong?
The answer, according to a French friend of ours with substantial local knowledge, was that we had failed to prune the vines the previous autumn. So now that October is here, the days are getting shorter, and the nights are getting colder, we decided to follow her advice.
First, here’s a look at the wisteria (glycines, in French) just before we attacked them with pruning shears:
Giving true tough love to these plants — cutting back all but the main horizontal branches — was a bit daunting for my wife Jan and me. But one creature who enjoyed the process tremendously was our cat Souci.
(I’ll be posting about Souci in due course, with an entry that I think will be called “The cat who came in from the cold.” Watch for it!)
In any case, Souci loved diving into the piles of cut branches on the street and in our garage, and sticking her head under them as they fell to the ground. Here she is walking along our street, with leaves scattered about:
And here she is, really getting into the work (or at least, under it):
And when all the pruning was done, what did we have? As you can see, some pretty sparse vines:
Will the tough love pay off? Will we be rewarded with long strings of flowers next spring? We’ll just have to wait and see. You too.