May 25, 2014 15:32 No denying that ‘damned wisteria’ No denying that ‘damned wisteria’ susan k. gremillion| Special to The Advocate May 25, 2014 Comments When my husband and I bought our first house in Greenwell Springs, we chose a small home with a beautiful yard, which boasted many beautiful azaleas, lilies, red bud shrubs and one extremely large wisteria. The wisteria grew on the side of the house, and its trunk was twisted and gnarled into a menacing form. I love the beautiful lavender flowers wisterias produce, so I adored the plant. My husband, on the other hand, did not. The first spring he did not complain too much, however, as time went on, he began to become more and more aggravated by the aggressiveness of that beautiful plant. One day, a few years after we moved in, I came home from work to find Gary sweating, huffing and puffing in the yard. “What are you doing?” I inquired. “I’m cutting down that damned wisteria.” “No! Gary, it’s beautiful! You can’t cut it down,” I pleaded. “Too late. It’s gone,” was his gruff reply. And it was. He chopped it down almost to the ground. Gone were the beautiful lavender buds that were so soothing to the eye. In its place stood an ugly little stump, all that was left of my beautiful wisteria. Life went on, and I got over my dismay of losing my beloved wisteria. However, over the year, the wisteria grew, and the next spring it produced a hardy display of its lovely lavender flowers. I laughed and said that I guess the good Lord heard me, and gave me back my wisteria. My husband just grunted. A few weeks later, I came home from visiting my parents and found Gary in the side yard, again fighting with the wisteria. “What are you doing now?” I asked. “I’m going to get rid of this wisteria once and for all.” I simply walked away. I did not understand why he hated the wisteria so. He said that he literally watched it grow in the summertime. When he would cut back the limbs, the wisteria would suddenly send out shoots that grew 6 feet or more overnight. Gary swore if we did not kill the wisteria, it would choke the life out of every other plant in the yard. He showed me the shoots that were crossing both the side and the front yard. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” he advised. “This is ridiculous.” Gary not only cut the wisteria to the ground, he drilled holes in the stump and poured in massive amounts of Round-Up. He cursed the wisteria like I have never heard him curse, before or since. “This should do it,” he said. “Nothing can survive that.” The next year, the wisteria did not come back. My husband had won his epic battle. That summer, we sold our little home and moved to Avoyelles Parish. My husband politely declined my request to plant a wisteria in our new yard. A couple of years later, we drove through our old neighborhood to show our daughter the house she was born in. When we turned the corner by our house, much to my surprise and his dismay, we saw a big, healthy, beautiful wisteria in full bloom. I laughed aloud and my husband said, “Well, I’ll be darned.” I swear the wisteria made a face at him as we drove by. Advocate readers may submit stories of about 500 words to the Human Condition at firstname.lastname@example.org or The Advocate, EatPlayLive, 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810. There is no payment, and stories will be edited.