To you, this probably looks like a bit of old stick. To me, it's a major horticultural achievement. Let me transcribe the conversation I just had OUT LOUD with the buds on my wisteria:
Me (disappointed): "Aw, you are just gonna to be leaves, aren't you?"
(Carries on hopefully looking for evidence to the contrary, as on all other days so far this April.)
Me (shrieking): "Wow!!!! You're not going to! You're going to be FLOWERS!"
bI brutally pruned my wisteria in August of last year, as it began an onslaught on my roofing tiles. I dutifully followed RHS instructions, pruning the arm-long August whips down to hand-long twigs in February, leaving exactly the specified amount of buds on each branch.
But as spring started to arrive I began to doubt my handiwork. At my sister's, the wisteria is covered in beautiful buds, clearly flowers about to open, already tinged with a little lilac colouring. Meanwhile mine were still brown and dormant.
I'd pretty much convinced myself that the hard "pruning" (well, saws did become involved) had meant the plant needed a year to recover. Only today did I finally spot the evidence that I had done the right thing after all. One bud has now opened up enough for me to see with my own
eyes that they are flowers. And others aren't far behind.
I think this must be what my friend was describing when she said "It's great for the doctor to hear the baby's heartbeat, but seeing it moving for yourself on the scan is unbeatable." All I can say is, another 10/10 score for the amazing RHS website.