Monday, 12 November 2007

Pruning the vine



The greenhouse is looking beautifully tidy now that much of the foliage has been cut back; plants trained against the white wall have been pruned before their leaves dropped to save on clearing up work! It was a delightfully scented job, cutting the lemon verbena right back to its main stems, the balm of gilead to ground level (how I love its aromatic, antiseptic smelling leaves), reducing passion flower to its snaking vine, keeping the myrtles within bounds. Of the plants left unpruned, the pineapple sage is spared so that we can enjoy its vivid red flowers in deep winter - see blog photo from last winter.

A major job each year is pruning the huge grapevine which runs all the length of the greenhouse. There are always so many grapes that I let a home winemaker take them away. There's a photo of them on this interesting and constantly updated blog by Di Overton - designersblock.blogspot.com - along with others of the walled garden that she took this July. I usually do the pruning myself but this autumn I was helped by my Spanish friend Francisco who grew up on a vineyard near Valencia. It's wonderful to watch him confidently wielding the secateurs as he conducts a running commentary on what he is doing and the various Spanish words for different types of pruning cut, as many as Eskimo words for snow! There are 'cascales' the weaker, less promising side branches and 'munyones' the congested lumps of previous cuts - all ruthlessly pruned back to the main branches. The result is clean lines, regular spacing of the strongest spurs and a rather more vigorous pruning than I would have achieved.

1 comment:

Faint hearted gardener said...

I've got a vine in my conservatory and potter on trying to prune it each year but having read this I think I will be more brutal with it! Viva Espana!