I garnered much pity from writing about my battle with the wicked wisteria plant in our garden. I likened it to invasive kudzu. Some writers exaggerate kudzu’s tremendous growth by saying it can cover a car in a day. Wisteria is right behind it.
Before Brother Bob and Beth came, I said I would snip the branches that were reaching out to catch people. We wouldn’t want well-loved guests to be taken prisoner. Nathaniel got up from the table and removed the offending tendrils. Seriously, those things can grow four feet in less than a week. He stood flat-footed and cut the branches with hand clippers. I would have been on tiptoe, using the loppers to extend my reach by three feet. You may be saying to yourself that he couldn’t be three feet taller than I am. He isn’t. His shoulder is approximately 16 inches above mine. His arms, though, stretch toward the sky. Mine are earth-bound.
He came back to the table holding two pods. For all I know, they might have conked him on the head on the underside of the pergola. I saw them but hadn’t taken time to examine them. Either Nathaniel or Beth commented on the texture of the pods. They were softer than the finest velvet! We passed them around and enjoyed running our fingers over them. A few days later, Nathaniel cut one open to see what was inside.
It didn’t take long for Nathaniel to put his own spin on the split pod.
The two halves dropped to the deck. All of us love eating on the porch, because we brush crumbs to a crack between boards where they fall to the ground below. The screen goes all the way to the earth, so critters can’t get to them. Nathaniel’s long arm moved a bit, and then a funny look crossed his face. He was pushing the pod bits toward a crack and suddenly thought, “What if this plants a wisteria vine under the porch, and it takes over the house from the bottom up?”
We reassured him that the bean-like seed was still on the table. He convinced us that Jack and the Beanstalk must have planted wisteria seeds to get up to the ogre in the clouds. I thought about disposal of our seed. What about flushing it down the toilet? The thought wasn’t complete before I recoiled in horror. The cesspool is somewhere under the 200-year-old oak tree. In two years, I’m sure a viral wisteria could choke the mighty oak and bring it to its knees. Maybe we should burn that lethal seed the next time Nathaniel grills meat.