Weekend Work: Time to plant grape vines

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The Independent Online

What to do

Plant grape vines as soon as you can if you have visions of a Roman summer next year, lying under vines, waiting for the fruit to drop in your mouth. 'Royal Muscadine' will crop outside, but it grows prodigiously and you need warmth in late summer to sweeten the fruit. You also need to rig up netting against birds.

Cultivated blackberries need attention. Cut out the old fruited canes and tie in new growths, either along horizontal wires, or in a fan shape. Tips of new canes may have rooted where they touched the ground. Cut these ends off and pot them up if you want more plants.

Hedging plants will establish more easily in an exposed site if you make a screen on the windward side. Evergreens have a lot of wind resistance and tend to rock when it blows, so that roots find it difficult to get a hold in the earth. Hessian or doubled-over plastic netting is better than a solid screen.

What to see

'Spirit of Place' is the theme for a series of talks at The Garden Museum, in Lambeth, south London, this month. On Tuesday (at 6.30pm), Diana Lazenby will chair a discussion on ideas of landscape and memory, with John Rodwell, Professor of Ecology, and Christopher Woodward, Director of the Garden Museum. On 25 November (at 6.30pm), garden designer Mary Keen will be in discussion with Adam Nicolson of Sissinghurst. Tickets for both events cost £10. Call 020-7401 8865, ext*822