There’s a vine in my garden that I’ve been too shy to
photograph. It has the kind of beauty that intimidates me into thinking I
can’t capture its essence. Googling around today, I found that the internet
falls so short on images and info about Vitis vinifera ‘Purpurea’, it’s a good
thing the beautiful creature finally lured me into submission.
It was twilight, a week ago, and I was outside the deer
fence covering roses with netting when I thought to pick and eat a few grapes.
Mind you, this is a so-called ornamental vine, and was purchased as such. Last
summer, however, charming little grapes of some consequence appeared after
about 7-years of not much fruit at all. And this year the vine is covered with
Well, juice from 4 or 5 grapes in my mouth exploded into
such rich flavor I was taken aback– it tasted like grape juice! Of all the
grapes I’ve eaten from the market, none taste like grape juice. I lifted some
of the large, bronzy leaves and found way more grapes than I thought we had. Next
thought- this has to be a 2-part blog project.
Vitis vinifera ‘Purpurea’ or Red-Leafed Grape is one of my
garden’s most valued ornamentals. Notice what a beautiful backdrop it provides
for the rugosa rose, above. The top shot is how it looks from
the street side of the fence, and the photo below that, is taken from the red rose bed on the
other side. (There’s a fuschia between the roses and the grape.)
An exquisite color show begins with the new shoots of spring– they're silvery olive. Olive turns to green and bronze, and in the fall deep burgundy and bright red take their turns. When first planted, the grape was slow to get started. It took about three years for it to finally take off and grow. Now it's growth is vigorous, and I trim it back to the grape clusters when it gets out of hand.
Internet info says the grapes are "small, bitter, inedible . . . even the birds don't like them."
Do these look small and bitter??? Isn't that blue gorgeous?
Don't they beg to be harvested? Well . . .
No, I didn't make wine, it looks like it though doesn't it? Stay tuned . . .