This is a new Sunday series that I’m calling Stuff that Works. Each Sunday I’ll pick an item that is for me a foundation element in my line up of stuff that matters or as legendary Texas singer songwriter Guy Clark put it – “The kind of stuff you reach for when you fall.”
For about the last fifteen years I’ve marked the arrival of spring with the spectacular blooming of a white Chinese Wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) that scales and covers the top of a pergola on my back patio.
The plant is aggressive enough to be considered an invasive weed by some, but I can’t help but marvel at the perfect flowers, called racemes, for their grape cluster like appearance and heavy fragrance of perfume that pours off these flowers during their peak.
Probably the thing I enjoy as much as anything is that this is a plant that takes hope and patience. Some varieties can take years to mature enough to bloom and the strength of the fragrance grows as the plant gets older. I think that’s where some of my attachment to its arrival each spring is drawn from.
The plant is a popular subject in songs and poems and even the occasional infamous street name.