It’s been a bit of a sore week, I lifted things I should not have and then got a bit over enthusiastic with the fall gardening (Glenn was very helpful). My brain keeps telling me I am 25 and my body insists I am 90. I would like to find a compromise closer to the lower number but cannot seem to talk my body into that.
Each fall I wander into my backyard and discover the raspberries have made a break for it across the yard heading for the neighbour’s fence. The Grapes have anticipated their troop movements and are waiting for them. Grapevines were draping themselves over the fence, clematis and up into the back neighbour’s tall hedge. This year I found they were also working their way down the fence toward the patio and had stopped to attack my Japanese lilac tree.
Normally I trim and pull the grape vines out of the hedge. Usually, this extraction goes well, except for the one year they threw me on the cinderblock garden edging. I may have been lying partly in the garden bruised, but still won the war since their extracted vines were still clutched in my slightly numb hand.
1-2016, I am clutching the large branch of grapevine I had cut off and then pulled from the neighbour’s hedge, my arm is upraised so you can see part of the bruise on the triceps. The background shows the arbour over the compost bin the grape vines are supposed to be growing over. (just to remind you that the grapes fight back when extracted!)
2- 2016 War of the Grape vines, I had taken damage but won (this is a closeup shot of the bruise purple center with blue edges. impressive hematoma. )
Back to 2022
I do apologize I was not thinking as well as I usually do (I was still quite sore from the garage incident) and did not have my camera ready to document the coming battle and its aftermath.
I was not quite up to that level of physical conflict this year, being already quite sore from having attacked the moving of heavy stuff in the garage. Luckily, Glenn offered his help. With much tugging and a good pair of anvil pruners, the tree was freed from the assaulting grape vines. Glenn dragged the long pieces of grapevine to the sideyard to await my displeasure.
We (mostly Glenn) filled a yard waste bag of pulled weeds and errant raspberry plants. Then he retreated from the battlefield defiantly the victor of the first battle. (Glenn had a few scratches and I was still aching from previous endeavours)
Now on to the more fibre-oriented part of the day.
For the past few years, I have put my captured grape vines to use by trying to weave grape wreaths. The first few were ok but not substantial enough, not enough vine for the circumference it tried. The last few years have been much better. I hang the new ones on the gate and on the dog fence. This year the pieces of the vine were longer than usual and I had more of the old stalk as well as a lot of the new growth. I had a couple of pieces with old stalk last year and had tried soaking it to see if I could make it more pliable. It did not seem to make a difference, but I may not have been patent enough with the time I had left it soaking.
This year I started with the longest piece which had quite a bit of old stalk and slowly started the circumference (bent it to my will- maniacal laughter), weaving in the side and branching parts as I came to it. Sometimes I would have two side branches weaving as well as the main stalk. I would try to wrap them one from the inside and one from the outside as well as routing the main stalk around the growing wreath. I would add a new stalk as I go, to the tip of the old one.
3- close up of grape vines wound into a wreath with leaves left on. The house bricks may give a bit of scale. (big leaves this year)
I know I could get better compaction if I took off the grape leaves but I like the way they look as they dry and the chickadees seem to like the leaves on them through winter.
For this wreath I have only extracted and used about half the errant grape vines from the back yard. I still have to get the rest out of the hedge. So knowing I will have more I used all the extremely long stocks to make one very big wreath. I did get a picture of the finished project for you.
4 – Large wreath sitting on iron bench and leaning agenst the brick wall of my little house
As usual the grapes have disappeared (into the birds, raccoons and the rest of the local wild life), but we did grow very big leaves this year!
5- This is the side of the yard we cleared of the vines. Japaneses lilac beside wooden fence. A pot of Saskatoon berries with red/orange and gold leaves to the side of the picture.
6- hidden by grapevines, the fence, the arbor and one end of the nabours hedge.
This is part of what’s left to get under control! that hopefully will be next weekend’s work. There is not much left to do in the garden but harvest the extremely slow growing carrots, the last of the herbs and hope the last of the cherry tomatoes hurry up.
7- Possibly over optimistic tomatoes it is almost November! Close up of cherry tomatoes the closest to stem is just starting to change from green to orange but not yet red.
But for now its time to head back to bed. Other than ticking off my back last week, I also go my covid shot, was that yesterday or was it the day before? It’s a bit of a blur, which means it’s working. So I’m heading back to bed feeling like I have caught the flu, give me another day or two and I will be back on line. (Don’t worry, I always react badly to flu shots, covid shots just seems to hate me a bit more. Glenn got his and had no side effects at all!)
So please felt and have fun twice as much to make up for my lacking the last however many days this is/was.
8- Gratuitous marigold flower shot of to inspire you with their Red orange and yellow colours. Even the foliage is trying to inspire with its shades of green and touches of purple where the cold has hit them.