Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Waiting on Nature

My family is in the kind of weird situation of living, long-term, on land that we do not own, but that we can do whatever we want with (within reason).  Because of this, I am trying to do some gardening and some home-making without spending much money.

My pet project this summer has been growing some grape vines out by our back porch.  The porch faces south, and it has no shade at all in the summer.  In the middle of July, it is scorching hot, so hot the kids don't even want to play out there.  But it's our only area with decent, play-worthy grass for the kids, so I've been brainstorming low-cost ways to get some shade out there.

Please don't judge me by the nasty mess that is my back porch - it is a work in progress.

As you can see from the picture, there is a huge trellis-y thing over the porch, that goes all the way down the hill and connects with a door to the garage.  Clearly, somebody had big plans for this structure, or maybe they were even going to roof it (the slats that go across are about 18" apart, which maybe indicates plans for further construction).  Either way, it is currently rather useless.

So my master plan is to grow huge, glorious grape vines on this thing to provide summer shade.

See how huge and glorious they were when I started them this summer?

Yes, one sad leaf.  That is where the "free" part of this project comes in.  I cut dormant vines from some grapes in the garden and rooted them this winter.  I planted them in June (with lots of protection from deer and chickens), and now they have grown to this size:

Okay, it may not look like much, but it has outgrown the chicken wire!  Just imagine how glorious it will look in 2? 3? 5 years?  It's gonna be spectacular.  If only Mother Nature knew how much I want this thing to grow...but the joy is in the process, not the product, right?  I will keep telling myself that.

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