About seven years ago (I really can’t believe it’s been that long), Jon decided we needed a grape arbor. Okay, perhaps it was ME that decided we needed an grape arbor, but it was Jon that agreed to build it. I spent a few days designing it – sorry, nothing is ever as easy as it could be when it comes to me, as I am addicted to graphing paper – and then after throwing a little hissy, Jon set about the building of it.
It’s made from cedar – a man was gracious enough to sell us several large posts for only $5 each – and lots of cross twigs, branches, etc. It really is quite stunning (thanks to my design?), and makes a real statement here in the garden. Last year, we even had a couple of picnics under it, as it’s the perfect shady place to set up a little buffet and has a wonderful view.
The picture above is from last year, and though it’s pretty, it’s not NEARLY as full and tunnel-like as it is right now. All told, the stone floored bottomed arbor is about 24 feet long, and maybe 6 feet wide. We have 4 grape varieties planted, and they have grown strong and tall and cover the arbor just as they should, making a secluded cavern, just like you see in magazines. It’s a magical place to hide sometimes. So, so pretty.
Having a grape arbor isn’t all sunshine, though – grapes are fickle. Ours, for a few years, were plighted with one random disease or another. But, thanks to perseverance and a talk with a few winery owners, we were able to treat them, which led to a bounty of gorgeous grapes.
I’ll be honest – I don’t do much with them. I simply like having them, I like the arbor, I like the IDEA of being the person that grows her own and bottles every drop. But I don’t. I suck, I guess.
Instead of giving you a run down of how to make your own juice, which I am in no means an expert at, I will instead link you to Elise of Simply Recipes, as she has a wonderful Step-by-Step tutorial if you are considering making your own juice.
Want to make Grape Jelly? Yeah, me too. Jessie of The Hungry Mouse has a great picture-filled post about Concord Jam making…looks like a great place to start.
But what if you are looking for other grape recipes? Look no further – here is a round up of the best looking grape goodness I could find. Click through, get inspired, and enjoy.
- Savory Grape and Fig Tart, by Kitchen Confidante
- Lavender Champagne Grape Pie Bites, by Tartlet Sweets
- Pan Roasted Red Grape Appetizers, by Mango Tomato
- Baked Brie with Grape Balsamic Compote, by Beantown Baker
- Brie and Roasted Grape Grilled Cheese, from Sarah at Tastespotting
- Grape & Apple Pie, from BonAppetit
As you read this post, I am likely JUST landing in Roanoke, returning from Fresno, California, where I have been touring – The Land of…GRAPES. Well, more specifically, Raisins. I am thrilled to be one of the California Raisin Ambassadors – so expect to see a lot more information on my trip, as well as a few more raisin posts showing up here over the next year.
Just not today…I need a nap, I’m sure!!