A very vine thing.

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Here is the grape arbor, today.*

*A tip of the garden straw-hat to Pam’s English Cottage Garden for vine inspiration!

grape arborThey are divine. (Wink wink.)

These grapes are about 25 years old, but they have been huge like this for a long time now. There are three plants here, and they grow over the top of the arbor from where they originate along the right-hand side. They’re all seedless grapes, some green and some purple.

They are poorly disciplined, as they grow, and they stretch up to climb the birch trees and reach down to grab the rhododendrons– really it’s a constant battle, but I love them anyway.

grape wood

These are the woody stems of the largest vine.

grape arbor insideI like to have tables and chairs everywhere. So some are under this arbor,  as well as on the front porch (for breakfast sun) and by the wood fire in the parlor (for winter suppers). It has to do with how much I like comfort as well as food….  This glass and iron table is a recent $30 find from Goodwill, and the folding metal chairs have been around forever. (I plan to paint the chairs but then I plan to do a lot of things.)

brick under the arbor

Years ago we laid a herringbone pattern brick floor in sand in this dark and cool summer place. It gets mossy and yes weeds grow like mad in the cracks in the spring and I go after them with my scary little sharp knife. (You didn’t know I was capable of having a scary knife did you? I also have a small cannon. But I won’t divert the discussion to that because Kininvie thinks I will.)

table under the arbor Yeah I really must paint those chairs. (I love spray paint.)

looking out from the arborLooking out. You can see that the grass is finally getting dry, and Max is working on his tan, or something. You can also see the (mossy) boards across the top of the arbor. Later, in September, the ripe grapes hang down from this “ceiling” most delectably. We just eat them fresh but really we should be making wine or something since Mr. O believes they are all wine grape varieties. (Maybe later after I learn to make beer.)

We have one other group of grape vines that have been pressed (wink wink) into garden service as an outdoor room divider.

The long horizontal support pipes for this arbor came out of our old well. It was a deep well (360 feet) not that it had any appreciable water but now we have a good supply of long well-pipes for garden use. (The new well has a little more water production but not enough to satisfy some gardeners around here.)

The grapes in the sun are doing better than the ones at the shady end of this 45 feet of arbor. These plants are about 7 years old. They separate one grassy area (“lawn” just doesn’t apply) from the vegetable garden and it’s fun to walk through the “doorway” in the middle.

So, a short post. Shorter than the ones holding up the grapes maybe. But I better quit with the puns before WordPress deletes me.

I will just go pick the ONE ripe tomato that I happen to know is out there and proceed with the pasta salad preparation so I can have a nice summer supper under the grape vines.


About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
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29 Responses to A very vine thing.

  1. Angie Case says:

    Beautiful post! Did you know that you can move grape vines? it’s true! When we moved, we brought ours with us. That was 10 years ago, the grapevine looks good again for the first time this year! (But you move plants like I do, so thought you’d want that tidbit!) And be happy you have that tomato! Could be worse, You could be having fried grasshopper pie for supper. Yep, I’ve got Locusts! I’m thinking of raising a giant flock of turkeys next year in self defense! Your garden is so beautiful Linnie, thanks for the visit! P.S. Hi Max!

    • linniew says:

      Never thought of how it would be to move a grape vine. I might need a backhoe for the big ones… I surely wish I could get rid of those miserable grasshoppers you are fighting. I think turkeys sound about right, big hungry turkeys!

  2. I’m VERY envious of your vines! I love vines and I love how natural and cool that space is in your garden. I don’t think I’d bother painting the chairs – it all looks very comfy and cool to me! xxx

  3. I was going to say spray paint — and then you did. I find it particularly effective to allow metal chairs to rust and THEN spray paint them a tarnished gold. Posh decay. This is yet another thing abhorred by The Prince,

    • linniew says:

      I love “posh decay” — but it does bring to mind, somehow, my wardrobe too, and my house– and that’s probably a worry…

      I also like the notion that I should let the chairs rust before I paint them so now I can just tell everyone I am busy rusting the chairs.

  4. Greggo says:

    you just like to smell the paint fumes….lol

    • linniew says:

      Come on Greggo, I bet you like to take a can of paint (outside) and transform, with new color, some worn-out trellis or tin or piece of furniture!

  5. Alberto says:

    Do you really think she’s a paintaholic? So now I understand many things…

    Dear Linnie: have those chair painted asap, the table is so delicate reflecting the leaves ceiling and those chairs they look very ‘Mighty Max’ (Max Mel, not Max dog!).
    Finally we can see some sweeping pics of the garden and I really enjoyed it! I like grapevines in the garden too, I think I’ll plant some among the roses…

    • linniew says:

      Oh my goodness, what am I to do with you guys and your spray-paint assumptions?!

      Truly I agree about the chairs, I just need to get out to a shop and buy paint. Glad you liked the long view photos. I’ll work on some more of those. There’s about a half acre I’m trying to civilize– some parts of it are better managed than other parts but I guess that is why God made the “crop” tool in Photoshop.

      • Alberto says:

        Ehm actually in Adobe they make themselves call ‘Guru’, I assume ‘God’ wasn’t politically correct… 😉
        looking forward for those pics then!

  6. Ca says:

    Linnie, I love your garden, all that shade and sitting around on vintage aged chairs, with a glass or two of the fruit of the vine…..lovely, I can just imagine you there…..warm climate? Just guessing. Seriously cool here today.

    • linniew says:

      It’s been a rainy summer for us in western Oregon, with no real hot days. Usually we get about a week or two of 90’s F., sometimes 100″s, but not this year. (I haven’t missed it.) This is the nicest August I can ever recall, 70’s-80’s and cool nights. Next it rains for about 10 months.

      • I am in Klamath Falls OR and my grape vines are about 7 years old, people are very surprised to find they do well here. They are great in the summer when it’s hot and they make a lot of cool shade too! Love em”! I want to try and make a small chair from my pruned vines, got any ideas?

        • linniew says:

          Hi Tony
          Nope. However I feel grape vines have huge potential. I’ve made wreaths from them –that is the limit of my experience. I used to have some chairs made from willow, but it is more substantial. I think you should work this problem out and write back, I’d love to hear how it turns out!

          I’ve only been to Klamath Falls a couple of times, but I used to drive by there every summer on the way to Ashland and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Thanks for visiting my blog!

  7. Grace says:

    Linnie, You’re so right about this being the nicest August. Perfection comes damn close, I’d say. I too love the wider shots of your acreage. No need for that divine intervention “crop” tool. It’s a work in progress. Awesome score on that table. The chairs look fine. Besides, you’re letting them rust. Your sharp-knife-weeding-skills must be right up there with your delightful writing skills because there is nary a weed to be seen! I hope we see more of your garden and please post photos of the ripened grapes.

    • linniew says:

      Yes I will try to take some images soon of the broader picture, weeds and all then Grace! Pretty rough around the edges, and sometimes in the middle too…

      This weather is truly a sort of story-book summer, cool breeze and all. I cherish every minute.

  8. b-a-g says:

    Linnie – I have been wondering how I could create some shady areas in my garden without having to plant a tree and I found the answer in your post. I love that arbour covered in grape-vines. My only worry is that I wouldn’t be able to take a summer vacation because it might grow out of control.

    • linniew says:

      I don’t go anywhere b-a-g and it grows out of control anyway. It’s just a matter of pulling vines out of trees or off other plants, no permanent damage and easily done with the flexible green vines. Mr. O prunes the whole thing when it’s dormant (here, before Feb. 1st) and then it starts over again. Sometimes I make grape-vine wreaths with the cuttings, when I am feeling very Martha.

  9. I love that arbor. You have such cooling privacy in there. The vines really give it a Euro feel. I would definitely paint the chairs a nice bright color.

  10. kininvie says:

    Perfect August huh? Not on this side of the pond. Rain in France, rain in Belgium, rain in Scotland…. and as for a nice shady arbour with dangling bunches of seedless grapes – I really don’t consider it fair to arouse jealousy in that fashion…

    Listen, we really, really need to know about your cannon. I’m sure it deserves a post all to itself.

    • linniew says:

      Well yes Kininvie it is a rather large planet with this-es and thats as to weather. But I remember rain in Paris and it was still darn awesome… And then there was that sunflower image incident. But otherwise I feel your pain.

      About the cannon. I will refer it to the Blog Topic Committee for consideration. They meet on Tuesdays. In the evening. In the grape arbor. With wine. (It can get a little out of control but I will try to get a decision soon.)

  11. How invi(ne)ting this post is – felt like lolling about under the greenery rather than like Max in the sun. The sunspot and glass table reflections are lovely. Almost forgot that grapes are fruit since we in the UK mainly grow them for foliage. Your garden ‘room divider’ is ingenious.

    • linniew says:

      I think in the garden that the vines and leaves really are the main thing to consider with grapes, they are such a presence! But a good way to break up spaces and make shade. And someday I will make some of those recipes where things are rolled up in grape leaves…

  12. That is a very nice sitting spot…shady and private. I bet you spend a lot of time out there.

  13. Cathy says:

    Linnie, I love what you’ve done under the arbor. Our grapes are getting to the point now where we can’t grow anything underneath it as it’s too shady (we only planted ours 3 years ago). I think next spring we will have to rethink what we do in that area. I envy you the purple seedless grapes — ours are incredibly sweet, but full of seeds!

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