Saturday, September 05, 2009

How do I know it’s spring? Because the grapevine has sprung!

Each year I hold my breath to see if the wizened vine comes back to life. There used to be three. One died before I bought the house, the second didn’t survive the onset of the drought but the third is being valiant despite absolutely no watering through last summer’s horrendous heat. It’s over half a century old and I reckon if it could talk it’d tell some good stories – about the Greek family who planted it and the wine they made or the students and assorted others who lived here through the late 70’s to the 90’s and had many wild parties under the vines.

I rebuilt my entire backyard around this survivor so I’m rather glad it is with us for another year. There will be fresh dolmades on the plate before the heat of summer, I promise.

Finally we’ve planted some spring greens. The enemy of seedlings comes in the shape of two affronted felines who have no idea why we insist on interfering with their bathroom facilities. Half the new shoots have been unearthed or covered over with their frantic digging already.

Gardening is an act of optimism. Perhaps that is why I like it. I’d prefer to put my faith in a patch of earth than anything else these days.

With dirt under my fingernails I’m less inclined to cook. I’d prefer to be out in the feeble sun than in the kitchen. The change of season produce is slowly trickling in. I waited til spring before I bought asparagus and mangos. The former being delightful, the latter I can wait a little longer til they are truly ripe and lush when the sun fully returns.

Speaking of sun, we are off to Malaysia later in the week. Time to eat exotic, spicy food and submit to the lassitude of humidity. Down time is something I desperately need right now.

Enjoy the colours of spring or autumn/fall where ever in the world you may be. They are the golden seasons whose temperance deserves to be savoured.


Blogger Ange said...

I agree totally, have just spent the day digging, composting, fertilizing and planted some zucchini, eggplant, dill, basil (optimisitic I know this early), & bean seeds. Being new to the whole veggie garden scene fingers crossed that they all grow for me

4:02 pm  
Blogger Johanna said...

a grape vine seems a luxury - and I love your poppy

bought my first asparagus of the season today - so slender and skinny!

11:53 pm  
Anonymous glutenfreeforgood said...

What a lovely post. We're getting toward the end of our growing season. It seems odd that you are just waiting for life to spring forth. My CSA (community supported agriculture) shares have been incredibly abundant the past couple of weeks. Tomatoes, potatoes, greens of all kinds, apples, pears, peaches, squash, onions -- well, you get the idea.

Great story about the vine. I'd like to hear more. Happy springtime!



10:52 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Ange - our garden plot is very small which means the SE and I argue, err negotiate, a lot about what to plant and when to plant them. Lucky you having the space for beans. The trick is that they flower and pollenate before xmas, misting water over the flowers encourages the bees. (Ahhhh I miss that too!)

Johanna, maybe planting a vine where you live would be a lovely legacy for future residents :) I sure appreciate the for thought of my previous owners. Early spring asparagus - divine (hard to imagine that I get sick of it by summer!)

GFG - thanks. I love the autumn abundance :) My favourite grapevine story is years ago I was in the backyard pruning it. The gate (which opens onto a lane) was open and a woman walked past, looked in and started chatting. She told me her aunt and uncle used to own the house and told me stories of those who lived there. I told her to thank her family for planting the vines and I was taking good care of it.

11:26 am  
Blogger Lucy said...

Yep. Gardening is as good, if not better, for the soul than even cooking, I reckon.

Which greens have you so optimistically planted?

And a big hooray for the triumphant grapevine. Dolmades, here we come.

9:50 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Lucy - spring onions and leeks (the latter decimated by feline toileting activities), cos lettuce, chard (better late than never). Leaving some space for rocket, tomatoes & strawberries.

12:05 pm  

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