Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Grape Expectations

Much excitement at the allotment yesterday upon the discovery that our grape vines, which have been putting on a sudden spurt of leafy growth, have also put on, for the FIRST TIME EVER, a spurt of teeny tiny insy winsy grape growth.

When I say 'growth' I mean I had to crouch really close to the vines (well, I was down there weeding the cloche with the lettuce inside) in order to see these teeny tiny grapelet things, and I am thinking that if they don't grow any bigger then the only wine they will be making will be wine for the microscopic minnie wine pixies who will hardly get drunk on the proceeds thereafter.

But, who knows? Maybe by the end of this season we shall have handfuls of proper grown up grapes which Andy can turn into some noxious and dubious brew which will no doubt explode at some point somewhere in the house, requiring me to do some redecorating.

Talking of which I have purchased wallpaper for the living room. It is wallpaper covered in wisteria blooms - big wisteria blooms - and everyone to whom I have shown the wallpaper so far has been very polite, if a tad unenthusiastic - in their appreciation of it. They are polite because they know it is, to me, the best wallpaper since the last wallpaper I bought that had giant hydrangeas all over it, and they don't want to upset me by saying 'Ye Gods! You're going to put THAT on your living room walls????' because I am still recovering from being gastro-enteritisized.

On further gardening fronts, I am concerned about our collection of 200 bean plants. They are now 8 inches tall, lush and green and obscenely verdant, and are bursting out of the greenhouse. They are saying 'We want to go outside!' and I am saying 'But what about late frosts?' and they are laughing and saying 'Don't be ridiculous!' and I am saying, 'but we had snow this time two years ago - it says so in my diary!' and the beans are subduing their laughter and thinking perhaps they ought to try stemming their tendrils for another couple of weeks until May is well and truly here, and it isn't merely April witth pretensions of May.

The hops are 8 feet tall. The living willow arch is starting to grow considerably greener and the local bird population is very much liking to perch in its twiney bits. The clematis I thought had died hasn't died and is crawling up the fence. The herbs, now protected from the hens, are doing well, and there are many little green strawberries getting ready to ripen.

And after last years disappointing effort from the courgettes, I sowed 12 seeds, just to be on the safe side, and all 12 of the bleeders have germinated and are doing battle with the beans in the greenhouse.

I think, after 5 years of this grow-your-own malarkey, that we may just about be starting to get the hang of it!

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