My Vine

The house and vine in March 2017 © Ricky Yates

On the front of my house is a well-established vine. In this photograph, you can see the outline of it, in between and along the top of the double-glazed windows that enclose the verandah. The photograph was taken by me in March 2017, at the time I agreed to buy the house. It has appeared previously on the blog, in this post entitled, ‘The new house in Stará Oleška‘.

At some point in the previous six months, the vine clearly had been pruned for which I am most thankful. It was the only thing in the garden that appeared to have received any attention in the months before I purchased the property. I believe that once the previous elderly owners decided to sell, they chose to do nothing further to the garden, meaning that I inherited quite a jungle 🙁

The vine in August 2017 © Ricky Yates

Over the summer of 2017, the vine flourished, as can be seen in this photograph, taken in August that year, when I was painting the frames of the two windows under the apex of the roof of the house. However, it did also produce a healthy crop of grapes.

The vine after being pruned in March 2019 © Ricky Yates

In February 2018 and again in March this year, I rigorously pruned it. This is how it looked following its serious haircut in March 2019. But in both years, all my rigorous pruning has ever done is to encourage the vine to flourish even more.

Where are the windows? © Ricky Yates

As you can see in the photograph above, taken in late September this year, the vine took over virtually all of the front windows, making it almost impossible to see out!

Château Yates 2019 © Ricky Yates

However, it did once again, produce an excellent crop of grapes. These are some of the 2019 vintage!

One piece of helpful advice I was recently given was this. Whilst vines are known for growing prodigiously, if you prune them in the late Summer/early Autumn, rather than leaving it to the Spring, they tend not to grow as much. Therefore, deciding that I would like to be able to see out of my front windows next year, over the past two days, the vine has been once more thoroughly pruned.

Pruned vine 31st October 2019 © Ricky Yates

Here is the photographic evidence!

PS: You can also see my recently renovated & freshly varnished front door 🙂

8 comments to My Vine

  • Pauleen Bang

    Wow! The soil there must be good for vines. Your work is definitely cut out for the next few years. What amazing pictures!

    • Ricky

      The soil must be good for vines, I agree. My neighbours have one on the side of their house too. However, theirs doesn’t seem to grow quite as prodigiously as mine!

      I certainly have my work cut out for the next few years, both in the garden & in the house. Glad you enjoyed the photos, Pauleen, & many thanks for once more visiting & commenting.

  • Stephen

    Beautiful photos… beautiful vines! Do you make wine from the grapes or just eat them fresh?

    • Ricky

      Thank you for the compliments regarding my photos, Stephen. It has been suggested several times that I ought to make wine with the grapes. But all I did again this year was eat some fresh & give some away to friends.

  • Sean McCann

    Hi Ricky
    Your photograph of the hidden windows reminds me of the great Les Barkers comic poem ‘Garden Waste’. Your vine obviously finds it’s location and micro-climate perfect and your treatment of it most satisfactory to reward you by trying to strangle your house! My mother-in-law keeps a vine in the plastic tunnel in her garden and gets a fair crop of grapes some Summers but the poor plant has a hard struggle through the damp cold of Spring, Autumn, Winter and half of Summer and usually looks sickly and ready to fail completely despite her best efforts.

    Long may your vine flourish and I look forward to seeing bottles of Chateau Yates Reserva on the shelves of my local wine shop 😉
    Happy gardening Ricky,

    • Ricky

      Hi Sean! I didn’t know the comic poem ‘Garden Waste’ by Les Barker. However, courtesy of Google, I found a You Tube video of the author reading it. There certainly are similarities! And ‘trying to strangle my house’ is an apt description of what the vine increasingly seems to want to do.

      You will see that a previous commenter asks whether I make wine with my grapes. As I said in reply, the suggestion has been made by several people. And I do like the idea of a wine bottle bearing the Yates imprint 😉

      Thank you once again for visiting & commenting.

  • Robert E. Doolittle

    Hi Ricky: I have thought some about your vine. The only solution I can dream up goes as follows. It might be possible to re-direct the vine to grow in a direction at right angles to the house:i directly away from the house down the front garden. This would require putting up a grape arbor. Two posts(about 8 feet in length set 2 feet into the ground.The first near enough to the vine so you could bend the vine and reach that post. The second about 6-8 feet from the first down the center of the garden. Then run heavy wire from post to post using staples to fasten the wire to the posts, one near the top of the posts and the second about two feet up from the ground on the posts. The idea here is to get the vine away from the house. Now I know this would require some work, but you might be able to find some enterprising person to do the heavy work in return for fresh grapes. I used to grow grapes in my back garden, with the goal of making wine, but it is not as easy as it sounds. By the way Sean McCann and I have been exchanging e-mails. Thanks for connecting us, I just hope I am not boring him.
    regards, Bob

    • Ricky

      Thank you for your most helpful suggestion, Bob. I understand what you are suggesting & it does have considerable merit. I’ll see if I can do something in the Spring, before great growth takes off once again.

      Thank you for once more visiting & commenting & I’m glad to know that two of my most faithful commenters are now in touch with each other 🙂