HORTICULTURE HIGHLIGHT: Herb Vidler with his magnificent wisteria.
HORTICULTURE HIGHLIGHT: Herb Vidler with his magnificent wisteria. Contributed

Gympie wisterias bloom for Vidlers

HOSTING a Gympie Municipal Horticultural Society meeting is normally stressful but that wasn't the case with Herb and Val Vidler on Saturday, September 16.

Everyone felt right at home sitting on their large deck while having the meeting as there were lots of quirky signs like "No Smoking, No Drinking, No Gambling, No Sex, Just Gardening”.

This proves that gardening obviously means the world to them and they, therefore, had no qualms showing off their half-acre (.2ha) garden at Julienne St, Southside.

In 1992 they moved back to Gympie, became members of the society 25 years ago since they were passionate about plants, and formed lifelong friendships.

Val laughed and said her mother used to throw a spade, shovel or any other gardening equipment over her shoulder. She would then plant something in its place.

"I've taken on that approach too. But the problem was Herb used to chop it down with the mower,” she said.

Herb does the gardening now for which she is grateful.

The garden is so dry, with Herb saying the plants need to survive by themselves, otherwise they're gone.

"We don't get the rain like we used to ... gardening is tough,” he said.

Surprisingly, the wisterias are flowering beautifully with large drooping clusters of lilac or bluish purple blooms producing lovely perfume in front of their house with a pottery boy and girl enjoying each other's company underneath the metal archway.

The owners did the right thing considering the location (open areas surrounded by lawn in full sun position), providing them with a sturdy support (a twining vine), keeping it under control by regularly pruning it, having well-drained soil and also pebbles (inorganic mulch - very effective).

"Normally there are no leaves (deciduous) on the wisterias at this time of the year,” Val said. These are native to eastern United States, China, Korea and Japan, and also a member of the pea family.

Later in the meeting prizes were awarded for having the best-looking flower grown from either a bulb or corm plant and winning third prize simply made the day for Val.

"It's a wonderful feeling as we don't have many any more as they require lots of water to keep them happy in this climate”.

Lesley Notley, Coral Ernst and Valda Polley were ecstatic when their names were called out for prizes by Amber Scott and Colin Johnson who also spoke about Earthlife products.

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT WISTERIAS:

The world's largest wisteria vine is in Sierra Madre, California, USA. It was planted in 1894, and measures more than 1 acre (0.4h)in size and weighs over 250 tonnes.

Some varieties of wisterias are edible and can be used to make wine whereas other varieties are poisonous. Identifying the right plants is essential, otherwise it could prove to be fatal.

In the Victorian language of flowers, wisterias symbolize "over-passionate love” or "obsession”, referring to the choking nature of the vine.

Gympie Times


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