Wisteria Hysteria

There’s nothing more therapeutic than a visit to Roundhay Park, in North Leeds……. With this in mind, it’s just a shame that I’m sat at home watching ‘Homes Under the Hammer’ on TV.

Saying that, though, a few days back my wife and I did undertake the 15 minute drive on the outer ring road to the aforementioned parkland. It was a bright autumnal day, so we planned to visually absorb the last remnants of the parks 2016’s perennial fare.

We started our visit in the Specialist Gardens opposite the Roundhay Fox pub. Here, we lackadaisically sauntered amongst the alluring western Mediterranean influences of the Alhambra and the neighbouring Monet gardens. Consummate beauty dissected by maze hedges, soothing the soul and taking my mind away from a pint at the Fox……. For the time being anyway!

Sitting on one of the scattering of benches listening to calming sounds of the Alhambra running water feature, romance was in the air and I couldn’t help but utter poetically to my wife “Oh balls, I left the shower running!”

Even the most tormented of minds can be elevated to a more mollifying neurological plateau when confronted with the bountiful gifts mother nature (and a team of gardeners) have bestowed on this 700 acres of parkland.

That is until you mention to your wife “Oh balls, I left the shower running!”, triggering an uncomfortably fractious situation, which negates all of natures calming qualities!

Even the most aesthetically pleasing wisteria in May, cannot extinguish the fire of my betrothed when faced with news there is running shower water back at chez Strachan.

Luckily there is no plug in the shower, so flooding wasn’t a danger. We could at least rest assured that the water will run away via the waste pipes generously installed by Bryant Homes, during the build of our domain 20 years ago.

The fact we are on a water meter, though, will mean a hefty next water bill after recklessly half emptying a West Yorkshire reservoir.

I mentioned wisteria’s above as my wife loves the scented climbing plants. She has a wisteria hysteria you could say! A keen gardener, her love of the wisteria was born when she bought one and thought it looked ok!

Wisteria  flowers

The fragrant plant, which can spread over 400 miles if grown in the right conditions by a genie, reminds Karen of her childhood in a County Durham town. Her parents didn’t have a wisteria, so I’m not sure how it stirs recollections of home, but there is no accounting for how my missus’ mind occasionally functions.

Her sister had a wisteria, but the got rid of it after one of her dogs became entangled in its fast growing vines. Sue decided either the plant or the dog had to go so, as the vets was closed, the wisteria was taken to a horticultural rehousing site. It now lives happily with a Grantham family who lovingly feed it on chips and beer.

It’s an unorthodox way of feeding a perennial climbing plant, but the family are working on the premise that the wisteria will be too fat and drunk to grow; resulting in it being easier to control.

As strange as it seems, there maybe something in their logic as the wisteria didn’t grow at all during the summer months. It didn’t look overly healthy, though, and was constantly looking to fight an adjacent clematis.

Anyway, our wee venture to the park that attracts around a million visitors a year ended prematurely due to my carelessness.

We drove back in silence, apart from when my wife asked if I knew her dad could balance 3 pencils on his head. I shook my head disinterestedly, continued the trek back home with a huge water bill to look forward to and a flea in my ear.

Happy days!


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