Monday, March 23, 2015

Bee Keeping Class; Wistera

Reminder about our Bee Keeping Class set for Saturday, March 28, 2015 from 1-3pm.  What a fun afternoon planned. Mr. Valadez is going to bring his bee truck; a live hive encased in plastic so we can see those busy bees working.  He will explain about the family of bees; making honey; take apart a hive so you see how it works; all about the lives of bees; honey tasting; and much more.  Light refreshments, handouts provided all for $25.  Call 530-846-3344 or email windmillfarm@sbcglobal.net.  I am only giving this class once, so if interested in having bees at your place or learning about bees, this coming Saturday is the day here at Windmill Farm.
Have you seen the beautiful Wisteria blooming?  You never notice one around until this time of year and you suddenly see it up a tree; or across the front of a house or even some people have them cut short into a tree shape.
They are so interesting and beautiful when it blooms.  But it can kill the tree or do a lot of damage so keep an eye on the structure where it climbs..
When we built our house in Nevada City, we saw in a Sunset Magazine an article showing a wisteria plant growing across a patio cover with millions of blossoms hanging through the slats of the cover, it was a purple blossom wonderland.  And the ground was covered with little petals.  We decided we had to do that with our patio cover.
The patio ran about 60' all across the back of our house.  We planted one plant at each end by a post and one in the middle.  Each year we would pull up all the new vine like shoots and kept running it across the top and over the cover.  Within about 5 years, it looked just like the photo, beautiful, beautiful huge purple clusters of flowers; big bumble bees buzzing around and pedals on the ground.  And the sweet smell would just engulf you.  People would come to our house during the blooming season just to see it.
One day we had the back french doors open letting in the nice breeze and where I was sitting, I got the impression the huge patio post was leaning.  I mentioned it to Frank and we just let it go.  Then Frank noticed it too and we really took a good look at the patio cover and was so shocked.  Each plant at the ends were pulling the cover, and it had pulled it away from the house and it was leaning to one side.  Something had to be done, sadly, it had also started to pull through a window near the bathroom and pulled off the house drain spouts.
Before winter when the leaves had died off, we had to do some major pruning, eliminated the plant in the middle and after than, kept it to a very certain size.  In the mean time, the whole patio cover and back siding of the house had to be replace, it had grown into the wood.
In our Gridley house, the family of the original owners of property from the 1920s gave us a photo of it and it showed a rose at one cover of the front portico and a wisteria at the other end, both were gone.  But when I started watering around the front shrubs and did some weeding, out popped a wisteria branch.  We start it up the round post and it is now about 15 feet tall and running across the lattice work.  The original old 90+ year wisteria, alive and well again.
I do love it but we keep it very well contained on the post and last year, we cut some back and found it had grown into an air vent near the roof and had gone inside the attic!!!  My wisteria lesson to people, keep it contained; make sure the support for it is strong, preferably iron; keep it away from your house; keep it away from your larger trees or it will become the ruler of it all!!

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