Thursday, 5 May 2016

Mug shot #3 Abutilon and Grape

This is an early shot of my Chinese Lantern and Grapevine showing new growth. Their leaves are similar shape and both have pendulous fruits/flowers. Chinese lantern grows in clumps and can often get 'leggy' but you can prune it back to keep a bushy shape if desired. This one here is red flowered but I also have pink and yellow ones.
They are easy care and aren't bothered much by pests and disease. I want mine to grow taller so that the blooms are overhead and then you can look up and see them. The grapes as you can see aren't particularly well trained but at least they are against the wall. In commercial vineyards they are trained on wires in cordons and low down for easy harvesting.  But you can train a grapevine over a pergola and have the grapes hang down from above so you can pluck them from below. In the Italian garden at Hamilton they have trained grapes up a massive arch pergola but so high out of reach of visitors without a ladder to get to them.
My grapes are red and juicy, not sure what variety they are, as I didn't plant them. It may have come from a cutting from the grapevine we used to have at the side of the house. I am trying to grow more from cuttings so that they are all along the fence. The other known varieties are 'Albany' and 'Niagara'. Don't mind the weeds! To the left is an echium that hasn't flowered yet. When it does it will attract butterflies. All these plants put in a lot of growth over the year and now grown to be quite bushy.