Friday, March 19, 2010

Hellebores and other garden news

Spring is ready to break through. These hellebores look like they will be opening any minute!

Yesterday I got out in the garden to do some pruning and early weeding and decided also,  to tackle the old grape vines which probably had never been pruned - what a mess! I watched some you tube videos on grape pruning before hand, but none that I watched was too helpful with these arbor grown Concord grapes. I did find out a lot about grape pruning and growing. There are two pruning methods used for various types of grapes.Commercial growers thin the grape clusters and snip the bottom of the clusters to get bigger grapes. They also remove some leaf cover before the grapes ripen, etc. But, and it's a big but - these old vines of ours are such a tangled mess I can't figure out what to cut or how! I figured out that the main truck is called the cordon. This morning I'll watch a few more you tube videos (there are a lot), and maybe I can get a clearer picture on how to deal with the tangled mess.

The only video I found on arbor supported Concord grapes said to leave the pencil thin burgundy colored  stems; but the only burgundy colored stems on those vines were parts of wild blackberries!  On top of that, the area under the arbor was another sea of a tangled mess of wild blackberry vines that I had to cut down. The worse part of it all is that this arbor was built for munchkins. It's so short that I can's stand up all the way under it making it doubly difficulty to maneuver or see anything. Needless to say, by the time I got back to the house my back was killing me. Also, one of the vines is either died or is dying. The main trunk is split and rotted, so I may just have to cut it down and plant a new, healthy, seedless variety.

Last year I planted a new, different variety grape; but it's too early to tell how well it fared it's first winter.

I worked on that vine till 4 o'clock and then came in to make a pot of mushroom bisque for dinner.  Soup is a comfort meal for me and one that I needed last night!

On the bright side, it's going to be a beautiful, warm, sunny day today, so after breakfast I'll water indoor plants, tend my seedlings, drive to Johnson City to do some food shopping at Earth Fare and plant shopping at Lowes. I'm looking for a yellow climbing rose and the new yellow knock out rose and fish fertilizer; and I'm sure I'll find some other goodies to add to the cart.  I always do!

My original plan for the day was more pruning and garden clean up; but I'm too weary and sore from yesterday so that will have to wait for another day.


  1. June: I envy your spring in NC. Spring is a timid thing here. A fleeting glimpse out of the corner of the eye.

  2. We're about at that same point. The hellebores are the first flowering perennials; but we have a way to go before the daffodils and forsythia start blooming.