Grapes

Grapes

by Jez Hall

The other day the sun was shining, the wind was minimal and it wasn't raining! We are now in Spring and even though there hasn't been much of a winter, I am heartily glad the cold damp days will soon be over.

So, time for an explore around the garden to see what's what and do a few chores. First up, I took Dad's advice and pruned a rather out-of-control grape-vine that grows on an archway half-way down the garden. We put this vine in over ten years ago and it grows like mad without any real nurturing. I can believe the story of the Romans making wine in cold, northerly Lincoln, as this plant produces tons of fruit, albeit quite small.

The word is that doing a vigorous prune will improve the quality of the grapes, so more wine. I had just purchased a brand new pair of bypass secateurs from a lo-cost supermarket and they seemed to work pretty well. So, a wheely-bin full of twiggage later, the vine looked like it had been to the barber for a number 1 in readiness for active service. We will see how the grapes (and wine) fare later in the year.

At this time of year the lawn is still looking a bit tired and flat, and even though it has continued to grow all through the winter, it is very slow. Growth is most noticeable around the perimeter, so the next job was edging.

For this I use two tools: a cordless strimmer for going along the fence and areas that have my patent-pending pallet-wood edge in place (remember that top tip from last year?), and a traditional pair of edging shears for other areas. It is quite satisfying to make those neat edges and it really makes a big difference to the overall appearance of the lawn. It also really looks like I've done something and earned my tea and biscuits, even though it only takes a few minutes.

Next week I'm going to power-wash the block paving at the front of the house. It has loads of weeds in it and has turned quite black in the areas we do not walk. The machine I am going to use has a "patio-head" attachment that directs the flow directly onto the blocks, without spraying dirty water all over the windows - that's the theory anyway. It will be the first time I have used it, so I'll let you know how I get on.
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