Texas Purple Japanese Wisteria Grows Incredibly Fast

wisteria growing up steel pergolafast growing wisteriaOne of the concepts we designed the back of the house around was a porch/pergola with wisteria growing on it. Wisteria have a reputation of taking years to get established and bloom, so we wanted to get the wisterias started early.

A couple weeks after we moved in we went to a couple nurseries trying to find wisteria plants to buy. The second place we went was Sam Bridge Nursery in Old Greenwich, CT. As we were approaching I knew it was going to be incredible. I had figured it would be on the outskirts of Greenwich, but no – it’s smack dab in the center of one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country. The mansions around the nursery were humbling.

Needless to say service was incredible. There was always someone close at hand to give advice – they even insisted on loading the stuff we bought into the car, but I’m getting ahead of myself…

They had a few different types of wisteria to choose from. Cell service was pretty bad, but we were able to validate what was on the tags by looking things up online. We had a few criteria – it needed to grow to 25+ feet since the top of our pergola is about 20 feet off the ground. “Fast growing” was a big plus, as was “blooms quickly” (since wisteria can take years to actually bloom after being planted). “Texas Purple” Japanese Wisteria was available and seemed to fit all those criteria.

The web sites said that Texas Purple could grow “up to 10 feet a year”. WRONG. It grew 10 feet the first month after we planted it and one of the plants has actually reached the top of the pergola – which means it’s grown about 15-16 feet in two months! (They were about 4-5 feet tall when we bought them). The other plant is just a couple feet behind it. The faster growing plant actually has three shoots coming up, the slower growing plant has just one (so far). They’ve probably got another month and a half of growing this year – so they may very well grow 25 feet this year alone – which is absolutely stunning.

We got two different types of mulch from Sam Bridge plus top soil that looked incredibly rich. I’m sure they have helped by giving the wisteria lots of nutrients. We should probably go back for more mulch – it seems to do wonders for the plants.

Other than those two wisteria, the back yard is still a complete mess…

messy back yard of Harlem townhouse

But hey, we’ve got two wisteria 🙂

The contractor is starting to wrap up construction, we have our big end-of-project inspection Thursday. We’re hoping to have a TCO (Temporary Certificate of Occupancy) shortly after that. They still have to finish the stoop. Dan’s fabricating the missing pieces out of fiberglass (another blog post), and after not liking the “brownstone finish” our contractor picked out, we think we’ve found one. We even had them do color matching to the original brownstone.

Bullets In The Back Yard

Yesterday we had some architecture students over to the house and one of them noticed something… We’re not sure what to make of it and we don’t know how long they’ve been there, but there are a whole bunch of bullets in our back yard…


There used to be concrete covering the back yard. We’re not sure if they were under the concrete or whether they’ve been thrown there recently. Given the oxidation I’m guessing they’ve been there a while.

What’s the proper way to dispose of bullets? Should we take them to the police precinct?


So I gathered the bullets up and took them into the precinct. They were NOT happy to see me – they said I should have called 911. But seriously… flashing lights and sirens for a bunch of old bullets? They also thought I was bonkers for waiting two days to deal with them since I saw them on Saturday and didn’t do anything until Monday. But it’s not like they were going anywhere… I think they were most upset that they couldn’t get someone else to do the paperwork. They seemed to agree with me that the bullets were quite old – probably under the concrete for decades.

I stopped counting bullets at 30. I think there were probably 50 bullets there – at least three different calibers. There were these little baby bullets – I’d never seen anything that small before. The big ones seemed like they were on the small side of what you’d use in a rifle.