Last winter my husband suggested I should prune the grapes. We have two Swenson Red variety vines. He may as well have suggested I hike across the Sahara Desert. I just started to sweat. Because plants can be intimidating, like a tennis partner who is much much better. In fact, I can only say, like Gaël Monfils at the US Open Tennis Tournament, when he stopped to tie his shoe in the middle of a point, “I get lost”. If you’ve ever seen an unpruned grape vine, you would agree. However, our laisez-faire approach has produced actual grapes, so much so that we felt compelled to purchase a juicer, so as not to waste them.
I may be ahead in this game, but the grapes may win the match, since pruning may be required to save the yard and house. (I’ve seen what untamed plants can do.) However, I’ve been training for an event like this, by deadheading phlox and other sporting activities. Because plants are like tennis partners, constantly hitting back balls I have to run down, making gardening an endurance sport. Plants only look stationary – they are very active even without visible movement – ask any gardener – when you turn around, they always look different. People may move, but at least they still look the same. (I guess friends would be shocked if I “matured in 60 days”.)
But I will continue to run down flying grapes and other startling occurences resembling plant tennis. And if I ever really learn to prune grapes, I will hastily and happily write it all down.