Those who follow this blog will know that I grow grapes in the polytunnel, very successfully.
This recent experiment is about growing a fruitful grapevine outside, in Ireland.
The first thing is to try to emulate the conditions most favourable for grapes and a recent visitor to Bealtaine cottage spent some time giving me lots of good advice to this end…thanks Sigi!
Sigi grows lots of vines in Austria and is very knowledgeable indeed on this subject.
First, the vine detests wet feet…so ensure that the soil is very well drained.
Well in this case I replanted the vine onto the gravel at the back of the cottage, which faces south, banking it up well.
Stone collects the heat of the sun and holds it well…thermal mass! I added lots of stone around the plant.
Sigi advised me to keep to one main stem, so I cut it back and will cut some more too.
Recycling tins…this one has been serving the Sedum for about 3 years now!
Just punch a few holes in the bottom using a hammer and nail!
The experiment with the tomatoes outdoors as opposed to the tunnel is good so far.
This one is cropping earlier than the several in the tunnel!
Everything in the raised bed is growing fast and furious…less than a month after the first stone was set in place!
Plenty of time yet for sowing seeds…I started these off on Saturday.
The Rudbeckia on the left were transplanted from a small pot.
Harvesting seed from Parsley…save seed, it’s our independence and our future!
Borage flowers adorn the water in the tunnel…ensuring lots of bees visit the plants in here, there’s lots of Borage!
Today’s video…and yes, Missy has barged in!
Missy manages to climb to the top of the barn and nestle herself into the barley straw…high enough to keep a watchful eye on all!
This is one girl who takes no prisoners…just look at that expression!
A good sprinkling of lettuce seeds and within a few weeks there is more than enough to harvest for weeks to come.
Most people can manage to be self-sufficient in salad for at least half the year!
This is a potager style bed, with Lavender and Thyme nearby.
There are several varieties of lettuce here, in amongst the Nasturtium and Borage.
Sedum and Poppies continue to push their way up through the compost!
Moving compost from last year’s heap over to the new raised vegetable bed today.
A bed of abundance outside the tunnel today.
And here’s the new raised vegetable bed…coming along…
Climate change is quite evidential here at Bealtaine Cottage in the west of Ireland!
Walking through the gardens this morning I am shocked to find many flowers still in bloom.
Borage in flower this morning, the first day of December 2011. This herb is growing in a fairly exposed spot near the gate to Bealtaine.
The Borage is growing alongside a miniature Rudbeckia, grown from seed this year and in flower from early autumn.
This is indicative of just how mild the weather has been!
I used home made compost to plant out the Rudbeckia and the Borage has come up through it!
This time last year the ground was frozen solid. Today it is more like early autumn than December!
Fuschia in flower down near the Bog Garden…this is not the semi-native one that is hardy, so the flowers this morning are quite a shock to see!
Even the spring water in the ponds is warm…
A cottage garden is the most informal garden it is possible to create and the easiest to maintain, if following the permaculture, no-dig method and approach.
Ladys Mantle will grow, fall, spread, then grow some more from the centre, outwards…if allowed, and that is what happens in a cottage garden!
Informality is the only hard and fast rule and that’s a contradiction in itself!
Spirea simply HAS to get unruly before it produces these exquisite spires of pink fluff!
The hedge or bush…there is both here at Bealtaine Cottage, can only be brought back into semi-formality after the flowering period!
This stunning herb gets very big and quite straggly, but it’s all worth it when the flowers happen.
It self-seeds everywhere, but who cares?
It’s carelessly beautiful!
Once these seeds are introduced into your garden, there is no way back for splashes of pink bobbing on the morning breeze between vegetables and fruit alike.
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