Thursday, June 20, 2024

Little-known UK brewery that’s spawned world’s entire wisteria outside of Asia

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IT’S that time of year where you can expect to see blooming wisteria around the UK.

And there is an usual place to spot the purple flower which is actually world famous.


A UK brewery is hiding a big secret about it’s wisteriaCredit: Alamy
Griffin Brewery was the home of wisteria in the UK


Griffin Brewery was the home of wisteria in the UKCredit: Alamy
You can see the flowers on a beer tour


You can see the flowers on a beer tourCredit: AFP

Fuller’s Griffin Brewery, in Chiswick, is named London’s Landmark Brewery having launched ales back in 1845.

And surprisingly, the entire building is covered in wisteria.

But the flower isn’t native to the UK, having been introduced to the UK back in the 19th century .

Chief Inspector of Tea at Canton in China John Reeves brought cutting of the flower to the UK in 1816.

By 1819, the flowers were blossoming and have since spread over the entire country, and then the rest of the world, including France and Germany.

The website says: “Here, at the Griffin Brewery, we have another large, purple sign to tell us that [summer is coming] – our wisteria.

“This beautiful smelling purple genus has been creeping up the side of our brewery walls since 1816, making it officially the oldest in England.

“It began life as one of two saplings brought over from China, and was planted outside what used to be the Head Brewer’s cottage.

“The other sapling was taken to Kew Gardens up the road, where it didn’t have as much success taking root and died soon after.

“So the folks at Kew came back for a cutting of ours to regrow their own, meaning our great climber has reached the heady heights of a royal garden!”

Wisteria could add as much as 5% to the price of your house

If you want to see the wisteria you can see it from the outside.

And you can set up a tour of the brewery, which takes around 1hr45.

Guests learn about the brewing methods as well as sample beer and cider.

Tickets start from £25 per person.

Growing wisteria can be hard, taking as long as 10-15 years to fully bloom.

It has since spawned wisteria across Europe


It has since spawned wisteria across EuropeCredit: Alamy

But it’s worth it, as it could add as much as £10k to your house price, according to experts.

If you don’t fancy growing it yourself, you can see it elsewhere in the London.

Many houses in Notting Hill have the pretty flowers, or you can head to Peckham Rye Park.

The best time of year to see wisteria is between April and May.

Outside of London, head to Devon’s Marwood Hill Gardens or Northumberland’s The Alnwick Garden.

If you want to see cherry blossoms in the UK, here’s the best garden to find it in.

We’ve also rounded up the pretty UK tulip fields as well as the English park that feels like it’s in Asia.

How do I grow wisteria?

Louise Findlay-Wilson, the founder of gardening blog Blooming Lucky, has given her top tips.

Wisteria can last up to 100 years, coming in beautiful blue and purple hues, but takes at between 7-15 years to grow when first planted.

Louise says she prunes her wisteria twice a year – first in August and then again in January or February. 

“Simply trace each long shoot of new wispy growth back to the base and then count along the length of new growth for five buds,” Louise explained. 

“Cut after the fifth bud and cut at an angle in the direction that the fifth leaf is growing.

“If you see long stems with old seed pods on them, cut those stems off too, to keep things looking tidy

“Stick the green leafy prunings into your compost heap, they’ll rot down quickly.”

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