It was a pleasant evening tonight, and I decided to take a walk around the yard, to enjoy the longer daylight.
I go distracted and ended up clearing and trellising the grape vine. Well. A temporary trellis, as least.
I also made a discovery.
The first thing I needed to do was drag out the old metal cross that was in there for some reason. I mentioned it to my mother, and she didn’t even remember it. Once the spirea and grapes were in full leaf, it was completely hidden. Taking it out turned out to be harder than expected. Not only was it wrapped in grape vines and spirea branches, but it had about a foot of metal buried in the ground. Turns out it comes to a point and is made to be mounted in the ground, like a fence post. It had just fallen over at some point, leaning against the storage house, forgotten.
Once it was out, I was able to get a closer look at where I had identified the base of the grape vine was.
It’s hard to see through the spirea growing right against it. However… what is this, under where the cross was?
That looks like a second grape vine!
The next while was spent cutting away old grape vines and the spirea growing around it. Much of the spirea turned out to be quite dead. I had tried to clear out the dead wood last summer and obviously missed some, but other parts seem to have died over the winter.
Once it was clear enough, I raked the area out.
Well, what do you know? We do, indeed, have two grape vines.
After this, I had to get creative. I had what was left of the wire mesh we used to build a new back gate, but I wasn’t sure what to use to hold it up. When I had gone to get the pruning shears, I noticed some old reflective markers I had found last summer. They were white tubes that would have had spikes at one end to stick them into the ground – one of them still had the broken off piece of a spike – while the tops had what I had at first thought were reflective plastic. They turned out to be solar lights, with the little solar panels on the tops so damaged, I didn’t recognize them as such at first. I took the light parts off and brought the tubes over, even though I knew they would be too short.
Looking around, I noticed the piece of rebar I’d left at the clothes line platform when I’d cleaned the junk out of there last year. It was a bit short, too, but maybe we had more? I found a much longer, thicker piece of rebar in the junk by the garden shed.
It took a bit of finagling, but I was able to get the longer piece of rebar stuck into the ground by the steps. I ended up using one of the hollow tubes to start a hole in the ground, then taking the smaller piece of rebar – which fit perfectly into the plastic tube – slamming it into the ground repeatedly, with the plastic tube acting as a guide to keep it straight. After a bit of wiggling to widen the hole, I could put the larger piece of rebar in and hammer it down a bit more, using a broken piece of brick for a hammer. 😀
For the other end, I used both plastic tubes and the smaller piece of rebar. It still wasn’t as tall as the bigger piece, but it would do.
I bent the wire mesh around the larger piece of rebar, but was able to weave one plastic tube through the mesh, then slide it on top of the smaller piece of rebar. Then I stuck the pieces of vine into the mesh. Tomorrow, I will come back with what I need to hold them in place better.
I’ve never pruned a grape vine before. I’ve certainly read about pruning and trellising them, but there’s significant difference between diagrams in a book and live plants. Especially ones that have never been trellised before, so they’re growing kinda sideways. When the leaves and new vines start appearing, I’ll have a better idea of how things are.
I’ve also got a mess to clean up tomorrow.
Big Jim and Doom Guy were very interested in my handiwork!
The plastic bag I found among the spirea is another mystery. It’s the bag from aquarium substrate. My parents have never had an aquarium, and it’s not like we have neighbours that it could have blown in from, even if it could have blown up against the based of the building, where I dug it out.
I noticed something else after I cleared away the spirea.
This is a section of the envelope around what’s left of what used to be a basement. I had noticed the cracking last year, but it’s pulling further away from the wall from when I first saw it here. A combination of the building shifting, and the temperature extremes, I’m sure. There are other sections that have broken off a lot more.
I don’t know what is going to happen with this building. My mother says to just use it as storage, but it’s pretty horrific in there. My brother, who will inherit the place, says it can be fixed up, while his wife suggested it be gotten rid of. Personally, I’m with the “get rid of it” idea. It would have to be demolished. It’s not like it can be moved out anymore. When my parents had it moved here, decades ago, there was space to maneuver. Now, there are trees and chain link fencing that would prevent equipment from even reaching it, never might moving it.
Dealing with it is very low on the priority list right now, though. About the only thing that will eventually be done is, we’ll go in and start cleaning it.
While wearing masks, gloves and coveralls.
Something to deal with in the future. For now, I finally have the grapes cleared, and am happy to see we have more than one! We should have a much better crop this year. I look forward to it!