Week 1 and 2 January: Every year, a few days before or after New Year’s Day, Mr Misk prunes our grapevine that’s suspended by wire loops on a fence. He knows precisely where to clip and coax another heavy crop of juicy purple grapes from this vine. It was a gift from a friend in Bristol many years ago. I think perhaps nearly 16-years ago, so the vine is quite mature. We also have another vine, root-stock from the same plant, in the greenhouse that scrambles across the internal roof ridge. The one in the greenhouse bears fruit nearly a month earlier than the vine on the fence. The grapes are the same size though, so clearly warmth and hours of sunlight don’t effect the fruit size on this variety. Unfortunately, we don’t know what variety it is. We do know a few things however: the grapes have small seeds, they are dark purple, sweet and juicy, smaller than my thumbnail, and the bees and earwigs love them as much as we do.
Mr Misk gets stuck into pruning back last year’s growth. If you cut it incorrectly, you’ll have no grapes! He removes last year’s growth so that the vine sets grapes on the previous year’s growth.
We also removed all of the (single white daisies) Chrysanthemums from the raised border and then mulched it thoroughly. They were very successful and continued flowering well into November. As that variety was so happy in this position, we’ll probably repeat this planting come springtime.
Other little jobs completed during the first 2-weeks of January: removed a 3-meter tall cypress bush from the south side of the garage and planted 2 lavender bushes in its place, cut back the flowering cherry trees that were overhanging the pavements, planted out winter-blooming heathers (6) under the Acer tree, filled 6 large blue pots with 4 layers of tulip bulbs for progressive blooming starting in late March, sorted through stored apples in the shed (nothing rotting yet!), moved upright lavender from its large pot to a SE position by the fence.