Wickham Bishops: Huge wisteria blooms for the first time in years

Judith Wilson admires her giant wisteria at Wickham Place Farm Garden near Witham in Essex. pic by R

Judith Wilson admires her giant wisteria at Wickham Place Farm Garden near Witham in Essex. pic by Rod Kirkpatrick/F Stop Press - Credit: Rod Kirkpatrick/F Stop Press

A vast wisteria, thought to be the biggest in the country, has bloomed in spectacular fashion for the first time in years.

The sprawling purple plant covers a huge section of the 300-year-old walled garden at Wickham Place Farm in Wickham Bishops, near Witham.

Every year visitors flock to see the impressive floral display, which is a labour of love for farm owner Judith Wilson, but this year those making the journey can enjoy a magnificent bloom.

The wisteria covers more than 250ft of the wall and Mrs Wilson says that it has grown considerably since she and husband Terry moved to the farm 26 years ago.

She said: “It was here before we moved but it was very small and grew on the other side of the wall. In 1988 I cleared the ivy off the wall and pulled the wisteria over and every year it would grow 10ft in each direction. It hasn’t flowered very well in recent years due to frost but this year is its best ever flowering and it is now 252ft long and 13ft high – it really is stunning.”

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Mrs Wilson said she has to do some considerable preparation work every February or March over five days and give the plant some love and attention every July, but apart from that she is just able to enjoy the displays it gives.

The farm’s walled garden is open from 11am to 4pm every Friday and admission is £4 for adults and free for children with proceeds going to the Farleigh Hospice. In recent years visitors have helped to donate thousands of pounds to the charity.

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