Grape mystery

If grapes help to make a party is it possible that a party can be used to make grapes?

By no means do we know everything about every plant in the garden at Sennicotts.

The surprise harvest
The surprise harvest

But some things we do know. For instance we know that the vine on the terrace does not produce grapes. We know this because it has never before produced grapes in the decades it has grown in its current location. We know it because we have been told it is an ornamental vine – not a producing vine.

So you can imagine the puzzled wonder that came over us when the leaves fell off the vine this Autumn. There, hanging outside the window were large bunches of dark grapes.

The first line of enquiry was what magic ingredient had the gardening team added to make such a thing happen? Answer, nothing different. Pruning and feeding unchanged.

We know 2014 had been an excellent growing season from other fruit and veg in the garden but in the past good growing seasons had not resulted in fruit. We went through the options: had we cut back trees allowing new light? – nothing new this year. Could it be the age of the vine? Is it finally old enough to bear fruit? – we don’t know of a vine taking this long to fruit.

So what was different this year? Our attention turned to June. The terrace was covered in a marquee for a weekend as part of our birthday celebrations. Could this have made the vine fruit?

  • Was it the shelter from the marquee?
  • Was it the heat from the two up-lighters under the vine (above which the most fruit was produced).
  • Did the pressure washing of the paintwork have something to do with it.
  • Did someone spill wine on the roots??
  • Was it the music and dancing???

If it was an element of the party that could be recreated (without having to throw a party every year) the cause would be fascinating to know. The intervention in the growing conditions was only for a very short time period. Could we recreate a timely intervention in future years?

Perhaps the only thing we do know is that they taste delicious and this vine is definitely not just an ornamental vine.

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Sennicotts Garden NGS OPEN DAY 7th June 2014

Sennicotts gardens will be open to the public in aid of NGS and local charities between 2 and 6pm on Saturday 7th June.

Homemade cakes will be available to purchase together with other refreshments. Proceeds from these sales will also go to charity.

Parking is free with level access to the garden. We look forward to seeing you.

Sennicotts Gardens May 2014
Sennicotts Gardens May 2014
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£1,502 raised for NGS Charity

Thank you to everyone who joined us yesterday for our garden opening.

100% of entry tickets and all sales of teas and plants went to the National Gardens Scheme Charity and together we raised £1,502.

Thank you also to our team of volunteers who not only baked cakes but served teas and cakes throughout the afternoon.

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Hats the order of the day

It may not be perfect weather for gardening but with only three days to go until the gates open to the public everyone is hard at work.

All credit goes to John, Russell and Mike who are doing everything humanly possible to show the garden at its best and make sure our visitors on Saturday get the most from their time with us.

Gates open 2-6pm on Saturday 15th June. Adult £4, children 50p (all proceeds going to the NGS charity).

Tea and delicious homemade Cake will be available on the terrace with all the proceeds going to the NGS charity.

Home grown plants will be available for sale for £1.30 (£1 from each plant will go to the NGS charity).

5 acres of garden to explore set in mature Sussex parkland only 2.5 miles from Chichester City Centre.

Parking is free and access is all over level ground.

Well behaved dogs on leads please.

A friendly welcome awaits you.

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