Posts Tagged ‘grape arbor’
Since our grapes have began to ripen we have had a lot of wasps under the arbor. They are getting the juice from the. grapes that have fallen. They don’t really bother anyone but many people, especially children, are afraid of them. It’s easy just to shoo them away but it is much nicer not having them there at all.
I just found out about this neat gadget that you can hang in your garden to repel wasps. Wasp are very territorial and this little lantern shaped thing looks like a wasp nest and so wasp take one look at it and take off.
I was skeptical that it would work, but thought it was worth a try. Just hung it up today and the wasps have all vanished. The juicy fallen grapes are still there but no wasps.
I got it at Lowes and there are 2 in the package. It says that it should clear an area of 200′. Now that I’m a little skeptical of. I only hung one for now though. I’m saving the other for next year in case this one doesn’t survive till then.
Last year, which was the third year, the grape vines covered the arbor by the end of the summer. This year the top was pretty much covered by the middle of June.
It has been wonderful having a nice shady place to enjoy lunches and dinners. The vines make such a difference in the temperatures too. We have had a very hot summer with temps hitting 104′ way too often. In the shade of the arbor though it feels at least 10′ cooler.
Better than the shade though is the abundance of grapes that are growing. Since
our arbor is 50’x10′, that is a LOT of grapes. They won’t get ripe till late August into September, but we will have plenty to eat, share and make into raisins. There are 12 grape vines now, all seedless table grapes. We have Reliance, Candice, Suffolk, Himrod and Lakemont.
One of the Candice vines turned out to be a Concord. Unfortunately it didn’t bear till last year. When we discovered it we took it out and put in a Suffolk. Cross pollination can occur between seeded and seedless grapes and eventually the seedless won’t be seedless any longer. That means we have an open area in the canopy of vines, at least till the Suffolk catches up with the others and begins to cover the top.
It looks like it’s going to be a very good year for grapes.
First of all it’s exciting that the vines have finally reached the top and are already shading the arbor area. We like to use the grape arbor like an outdoor room with it’s tables and chairs, swings and other seating areas. The deep shade the grape vines provide make the space usable all day instead of just the cool of the early morning or evening.
We had a lot of grapes last year but the vines were still young, only 3 years old. I
think we may be in trouble. There are so many tiny baby grapes up there it’s mind boggling. These photos only show a couple of square feet each. (click on the photos to enlarge if you’re unable to see well. Even click again to make them even larger). The arbor is 50′ x 10′ so that is a lot of grapes headed our way.
Even with eating tons of them, giving even more away and drying many into raisins (the best raisins in the world I might add), I think we are going to have so many grapes on our hands.
If you’re interested, we are growing all seedless table grapes – Reliance, Suffolk, Candice, Himrod and Lakemont. Besides these 10 vines on the arbor, we have 3 very old vines growing on the fence on the north side of our garden which already produce tons of grapes. We have no idea what they are since they were planted about 45 years ago, but they are white seedless and delicious.
Here are some photos of last years grapes ripening.
I failed to mention that on the two north posts we have Hardy Kiwi growing. They take a long time to begin to produce fruit, but it looks like this might be the year. There are a lot of little BB looking things up there. I’m keeping my eye on them too.
A friend was kind enough to give me some of the old windows from her home. I knew I wanted to use them in the garden, just wasn’t sure exactly where. I really liked the idea of hanging them in the grape arbor, since it’s like an outdoor dining room for our large family gatherings.
There are a lot of ways to use old windows though. I considered mounting them on the side of or back of the garage, where there are no windows.
I really like using old things in the garden to make it a cozy, comforting place to be. We have some really old things tucked here and there throughout.
This year we hope that the grape vines will cover the top of the grape arbor so that the arbor area will be shadier and cooler. Even though the vines made it to the top last year, it will take a lot of leaves to shade our arbor, which is 50’x10′. There are 10 grape vines, one at each post, except for the Kiwi vines at the two post on one end.
Even more than the shade to look forward to though, are the many, many grapes which are growing. We got some last year, but nothing like what’s coming this year. All of the grapes are seedless, table grapes, some white and some pink or red.
Besides eating plenty and sharing a lot (we have a large family), we will dry some. They make the best raisins.
Ah, so much to look forward to. I love summer.
It’s so fun to watch as the fruit on the trees begins to grow and the strawberries start turning pink. This year, besides the peaches, apples, apricots and assorted berries, we also have current bushes (with currents) and the Kiwi are finally blooming. This is their 4th summer and the first time we’ve actually seen blossoms. So we’re hoping to finally get Kiwi fruit. These are the hardy Kiwi and the fruit is smooth and small. It doesn’t need to be peeled and it is said to be very sweet. Can’t wait to try them.
Also, as the plant (a vine that can grow 40-50 feet) matures, the leaves begin to get pink and cream colorations on them, making it look like the vines are full of blooms. See this post from Cornell for more information: http://www.fruit.cornell.edu/mfruit/kiwifruit.html
We have a male and a female (yes, you need both) vine and they should cover one end of our grape arbor.
So looking forward to eating our very first Kiwi.
One of the earliest signs that Spring is really here, is the early Clematis bursting with blooms. I have a lot of Clematis and unfortunately I bought most of them before I understood the different blooming/pruning patterns completely.
After a season of the quick, early bloomers and then a season of the last all summer and into fall bloomers, well I thought I’d really made some poor choices of some of my Clematis. But, now when the early ones are blooming so beautifully, when most other plants are just setting buds for blooms, I’m thinking the early ones do have their advantages. After a long winter (and this one wasn’t all that bad) it’s so nice to again see some color in the garden…the earlier the better,
The hardy kiwi is an exciting vine to have growing in your garden that many people are unaware of. It is a robust vine that can reach 25′ long. The foliage is beautiful, with splashes of cream and pink. The first few years the foliage will be green, until the plant is well established.
It has tiny little blooms in the early summer, but then, after a few years, it will produce kiwi. Not the large, fuzzy variety, but smaller and smooth. They are supposed to be very sweet and the skin is eaten as well, so they don’t have to be peeled.
Our kiwi vines (you need to have a male and female vine to get the kiwi fruit) are planted on one end of our large grape arbor. They are 3 years old and are looking pretty established to me. I’m hoping that this year will be the year we not only see the pink on the foliage, but also some fruit on the vine.
As you go through the garden catalogs, planning you garden for next summer, have a look at the kiwi vine (Actinidia kolomikta) It’s available at a lot of the nurseries.
A few facts:
It’s hardy in Zones 5-8 (Find your zone http://wp.me/P1OXDF-oK )
It can reach 25′ long
It likes well drained, moist soil
It needs partial to full sun
It’s deciduous and blooms in early summer
It’s a long lived plant
There aren’t many sights prettier than the sun filtering down through grape leaves, with all the shades of green showing so clearly. The only thing to improve that sight, would be great clusters of grapes hanging down.
When we moved into our house 3 years ago, we planned how we would arrange the garden so that we could squeeze everything (well, almost everything) into it that we wanted. We decided to have a grape arbor across the back of the yard and we wanted it large enough to provide eating and seating areas underneath it.
Before we had the arbor built, we planted the 11 grape vines. We didn’t want to waste any time because we knew they would take time to mature and reach the top, and start producing big fat, delicious grapes. We did get a few grapes last year, and they were really good. The two posts at the north end of the arbor have kiwi vines growing up them instead of grape vines.
This year will be the fourth summer in the ground and the grape vines will be a lot more mature. It will be exciting to finally have a nice, green canopy for shade under the arbor.
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Some of the easiest plants to grow in containers are evergreens. Most of them are slow growing and maintain their shape. Unlike some other shrubs that can grow in containers, most evergreens don’t need a lot of pruning and pampering. They are pretty much care-free.
Consider placing one on each side of your front door. The deck and patio are also good places for potted shrubs, and they mix well with potted flowering plants. Since they do grow slower, the bigger the better…unless you don’t mind waiting on them to grow. They do need to be planted in containers that are plenty big enough, to prevent having to re-pot any time soon.
I wish I’d thought of planting some evergreens in my larger containers last summer. Instead I planted rose bushes (Brandy Rose roses) and even though they were beautiful and bloomed all summer, I realized that they would need a lot of pruning to maintain their “deck size”. Now, if I’d used miniature roses I wouldn’t have had that problem. Miniature roses can get to a pretty good size if they’re happy, but not nearly so big as a shrub rose. So I planted the Brandy Rose roses in the yard in the fall and hopefully, this spring they will come out and grow to be the big, robust rose bushes they were intended to be.
This spring though, I’m going to plant some evergreens (and there a lot to choose from) in pots for the deck. Guess I’ll be looking through my plant catalogs for ideas and information. Then I’ll go to my local nurseries to see what’s available. It’s so much more fun and productive to go to the plant nurseries when you have a little understanding of what you’re looking for.
Because I needed shade on part of our deck, I also potted up some fruit trees. I planted a cherry tree and 2 plum trees. They are semi-dwarf trees and I reason that in the pots they won’t grow to their full potential, and also I will be able to keep them pruned small enough to be on the deck. If they bear fruit, fine, if not, that’s okay too. They’ll be beautiful trees and they’ll provide shade in the summer. When they’re mature they should provide a nice canopy for us. At least that’s the plan.
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We visited an amazing place this week, and I’m not talking about the hotels, fabulous shows and restaurants. There is just so much to see and do in Las Vegas, that I doubt very many of the visitors who come here get to see the acres of pottery and garden decor we walked through. I’ll bet the locals know about it though. It’s a place called Little Baja Garden & Design and it’s located at 3033 W. Ford Ave. in Las Vegas. You can find them online at http://www.littlebaja.com
The selection of pottery was astounding. We’ve shopped for beautiful pottery in Mexico, Arizona and Florida, but I’ve never seen a place with so many choices. It’s fun to have beautiful colored pots on the deck or patio. If we had room in our garden for even one more large pot, I would have had to spend the day selecting just the right one. We decided to buy a couple of beautiful, colored plant saucers. We’ll put these on pedestals around the yard to use as bird baths.
We also like to collect sun faces and other yard art. Again…what an amazing selection to choose from.
I loved the columns. I would have loved for our grape arbor to be on columns. Let’s see…they are on sale right now for $500 apiece, and we would need 12 of them. Hmmm….$6,000 for the columns alone, not counting the treated lumber and the cost of the grape vines. Guess that’s why we didn’t do it. Even if I had been able to afford using columns, I wouldn’t have known where to get them. Now I know.
Nothing beats the sound of rushing water, it’s so relaxing and soothing. This place had about a half acre of fountains of every size and shape, from rustic to ultra modern, from tiny ones all the way to gigantic.
What a fun time we had, just strolling around and wishing we had more room in our garden… and more $ to buy some of the gorgeous things we saw.
Oh, and a big truck to get it all home in.
If you like to spend at least part of the winter planning what you’re going to do in your garden next spring and summer, then having a little information can be helpful.
Have you checked out the “Tabs” at the top of the page? Under the “Flowers” tab there are list of annuals, and perennials with their growing habits and needs.
The “Birds” tab will give some information about feeding the birds to keep them coming to your yard to gobble up all those “bad bugs’ eating your garden.
The more information you have, the more successful your garden will be.
Now is the time of year to build the hardscapes of your garden, when lumber prices are down and plants are dying back for the winter.
Get creative and give your yard and garden some dimension. To check out the earlier Post on this subject just click on the search button to the right and type in “Hardscapes”. Check out this video on Hardscapes in the Garden.
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Yes, there is a Kiwi that will grow in the colder areas and it is a beautiful, hardy vine. It’s not very well known, it is an Arctic Kiwi (Actinidia kolomikta). In the more mature plant the leaves are variegated pink and cream mixed with the rich green. It is a vigorous vine that will grow 40′ or more, so it does best on a tall, sturdy support like a fence or arbor. Ours are about 20′ now as they go 9′ up to the top of the arbor and cross over 10′ and are wondering around up there. It isn’t fussy about the type of soil, rich and fertile or dry clay, and it will grow in sun or shade, but it does like a good, deep drink of water at least once a week.
The more mature vines (4-5 yrs. old) will set fruit, which is smaller than commercial kiwi but sweeter. It has a slick skin and doesn’t need peeling. These Kiwi are dioecious, which means there has to be a male and a female plant planted near each other in order to set fruit.
Our Kiwi is now 2 1/2 years old and in a year or two we will start seeing the pink and cream coloration on the leaves and hopefully, we will begin to get fruit. Can’t wait for that.
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I’ll tell you what I’ve learned about strawberry plants since I’ve moved to zone 6. They can be about as fast growing and invasive as Kudzu, you know, the vine that ate the south. When we bought this place there was a sickly little strawberry patch about 2’x2′ and the plants were pitiful, since they were in heavy shade all day.
I designed a little berry patch with strawberries growing low and blackberries on a little trellis (which they quickly outgrew). It is about 10’x8′ and gets sun most of the day. It had a wooden border from 4’x4′ posts left over from building the grape arbor and the deck.
Well…in no time at all they had jumped that border and were headed cross country. I cut them way back, but that only slowed them down for a couple of weeks. Now I know that I have to be vigilant about chopping runners off before they can make it to the border. They do have really good berries, but not as many of them as I would think they would with such prolific plants. I wish I knew what kind they were. Any suggestions would be welcomed.
I learned recently that after strawberries quit bearing, the leaves and runners should all be cut off, being careful not to injure the new growth. Maybe that is part of my problem, I haven’t been pruning them back like that and they just got too rambunctious. They’ve been pruned back now and we’ll see if they’ve been tamed a little.
I have planted clematis all over the garden because they can co-mingle with other climbing plants and not be invasive or intrusive. One of the clematis has out performed all the others. The Reiman Clematis has been in continuous bloom since it started blooming early in the summer. It has grown more than any of the others and it has a beautiful blue/violet color. I’m so glad I have two of them. As they grow and cover the gate and arbor I’ll post pics or videos.
I’m sure in time the other clematis in the garden will began to perform, but if you want one that will be beautiful from the very start, try a Reiman.
Check out this video of the Reiman Clematis on the gate attached to our grape arbor.
Garden structures are an important but pretty much overlooked element of a garden. They give support and background to the growing part of the garden. Some of the most useful and beautiful hardscapes would be things like decks, arbors, stone walls, fencing, paved pathways, steps, trellises, gazebos, or sheds and potting areas. There are so many possibilities but a lot depends on your needs and the space you have available to you.
We have a relatively small yard with less than 1/4 acre but we have a large grape arbor (50’x10′) and a large deck (33’x16′) with a pergola over a portion of it. Having a deck gives you a really good place to have potted trees and flowers. Besides those we have a 6′ privacy fence in the back yard and a picket fence in the front and side yards. There is a rose arbor over one of the entrances in the picket fence and a paved sidewalk all the way around the house as well as winding paths all through the garden. All of these things, besides being so useful, add interest to the yard and make the plants look better.
Ideally, the hardscapes should go in before the garden is planted but that isn’t always possible. The important thing is not to damage or disturb plants too much in putting them in, but it’s never really too late. Plants can be moved if needed (I’ve sure moved a lot of them), if done carefully and at the right time.
This is a good time of year for adding things like arbors and decks because the cost of lumber usually goes down in the autumn and builders aren’t quite so busy and may welcome the business.
These are some of the pictures of the structures in our garden. Even though our yard is small, we made room for them because we thought they would improve our garden.
Don’t you think so? When we bought this old house (built 1914) it already had some really old, established vines on the fence north of our yard. Really good grapes too. Three vines, 1 seeded and 2 seedless. We ate all we wanted, shared with others and still had plenty left over. So we made raisins out of the seedless ones and juiced the others. Oh my, what good raisins those were.
We had a very sturdy arbor built across the back of the property so we could grow grapes and have the beautiful shade that grape leaves make. The arbor is 50’x10′ and 9′ tall on one, 8′ on the other (our lot slopes). So that means there are 12 (6″x4″) posts. Beside each one we planted a vine. Two of them on the north end have Kiwi and the rest have grape vines, all seedless but 2 of five different varieties. They were planted in Spring 2009 and by Sept.2010 they had made it to the top. This year they are crisscrossing the top and we are beginning to see what it will eventually look like. This year about half the vines produced grapes and 3 of those vines had abundant crops of about 15-20 large bunches each. Looks like we’re going to have a LOT of raisins.
My dream is to be under the shady arbor and just being able to reach up and pick grapes when I want to (see picture below). Mmm Maybe next year.
Amazingly, around here there are so many concord grapes growing that nobody does anything with. They are happy to let us pick and so we do. They make the best dark purple grape juice. We use a juicer like I’ve never seen before but you may be familiar with it. It is a large pot with several layers. In the bottom is boiling water, above that a well to catch the juice and above that a perforated pan to hold the whole grapes. The steam forces the cells in the fruit to burst, releasing the juice which is caught in the well. There is a sort of spigot on the side to drain the piping hot juice into hot sterile bottles. You should smell the kitchen when this is going on. Welches?