Wonderful Wisterias and Clematis in and around Bedford

Few sights are more arresting than that of a wonderful Wisteria or Clematis covering a wall or pergola and these can be seen across Bedford.



In blues, mauves and even white, the blossoms cascade down – and the scent is amazing. Wisterias can also be grown as ‘standard’ plants. This means they have a central stem and leaves and branches growing out and cascading down from the top. Heights are usually around 2 metres tall. Colours are the same as climbing varieties and the plant can add unusual interest and height to a patio or border.

The deep blue Wisteria pictured on a pergola with white chairs beneath it was taken in the garden of the Retirement Education Centre at 6, Rothesay Road in Bedford. People aged over 50 can attend courses on weekdays but any age can attend at weekends. It’s a great social centre with a good cafe also. Courses there are many and varied with gardening, languages, history, psychology, arts and many others to choose from.


Most of the other app pictures were taken at Kathy Brown’s garden, at Stevington. She opens this every Tuesday in summer and generously opens at other times, the proceeds going to various charities. The app pictures were taken at a Motor Neurone Charity opening. In May and June the garden is full of bloom with Iris, Alliums, vivid blue Ceanothus shrubs and other late spring plants. Kathy is keen on Chinese themed plants and Wisteria varieties grow on pergolas and walls, making spectacular displays.

There are also Clematis in different colours, the white Montana ‘Spooneri’ covering a huge area on a north house wall. Another deep pink variety with masses of bloom covers a nearby garden wall.  The Chinese theme is continued with huge tree peony flowers which have a lovely delicate perfume.


In July there are Lilies, a Wild Flower Meadow and an Edible Flower Border. Kathy runs demonstrations on how to use these in cookery.  The ‘Prairie plantings’ begin to flower and continue into September. Many special extra opening days and themed events take place also – details at info@kathybrownsgarden.com – 01234 822064. Kathy writes books on gardening and has been an authority on Container planting for many years.

In your own garden weeding and dead heading will need to be done. Prune shrubs which have bloomed after January, especially Brooms, as if left to grow freely they become leggy. Cut down to the base of each flowered branch, leaving about two inches of this for new growth to sprout from.

Enjoy July and Happy Gardening! From Diane Clay at Picturebook Gardens

01234 352967  –  geoff.diane@yahoo.co.uk   


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