Monday, June 4, 2007

Sub Vitis

If you live in a country where it either rains most of the time or it's cold and windy, you want to make the most of Summer. One of the joys of Summer is eating outside. A few weeks ago we bought a very nice, if rather expensive, outdoor dining set. We put the table and 6 chairs on the decking, close to the sliding doors of the conservatory for easy access.

When he made the decking, the under-gardener also built a pergola frame. After the wooden frame was finished, a trellis of plastic coated steel wire was made to provide a support for the climbers I'd put in a year before. The trellis is above the eating area and after the climbers have done their job properly, it will provide us with some much needed shade in Summer and will also make the area more cosy. This area of the garden is west facing and therefore very sunny for most of the day. During Summer it can get really hot, so a bit of shade is very welcome.
Here's a more detailed picture to show how the wire trellis was made.
As you can see here, the grape vine has already reached the top of the pole and is weaving its way across the trellis. Hopefully it will cover it quickly.

Apart from 2 vines, 1 blue and 1 white, I also put in a Clematis (Ice Queen)to provide us with some colour and a Honeysuckle for scenting our long summer evenings under the grape arbour. I thought it would be the height of decadence to lean back in my chair after a meal, reach out and pluck a bunch of grapes from above my head. Then casually pop a few grapes in my mouth, still warm from the sun, by way of dessert. Absolutely blissfully decadent, don't you think? (Yes, I lead a very sheltered life.)

We like to entertain our friends and family on a regular basis and enjoy long conversations over a lovely meal. Having a meal with good friends or relatives can take hours so after a while it will get dark. Sometimes the night is so balmy that we don't want to go inside so I asked the under-gardener to install some electrical lighting, which he did (he's fully qualified to do this sort of job).
Aren't they fun, my bird chandeliers? I bought them at Ikea.

And while the under-gardener was busy doing his job, I was busy doing mine. I'm painting the conservatory and because this side is in permanent shade, I decided to paint it yellow to brighten it up a bit. It's worked a treat and I'm very happy with the result. There was trellis against one part of the conservatory where honeysuckle and a vine where climbing their way upwards, It had to come off, otherwise I wouldn't be able to paint all the woodwork. We rested the trellis and climbers against the kitchen steps, I painted all the woodwork twice, waited until the paint had dried and then the trellis was put up again.
We also have outdoor heating for when it gets a bit nippy. Balmy nights are not all that common around here so some extra heat is very welcome if we want to stay outside in the garden. A friend of ours made an outdoor wood burner for us. The burning wood heats up the stones and they in their turn will radiate a lot of heat, making us all feel warm and toasty.
Surprise is admiring the bird chandeliers in the picture above and in the foreground you see the wood burner.

So now another area of our garden is finished and all we have to do now is wait for our guests to arrive and have nice long chats with them over a lovely meal with a glass of wine or two on warm summer evenings, sub vitis, under the vine. Makes a nice change from conversations sub rosa. :-)

June is the month that takes care of itself. Even the dullest garden can't help being colourful in June.
Margery Fish


ina said...

je hebt me p een idee gebracht ,wat die trellis betreft ,we hebben een pergola daar kunnen we ditmooi voor gebruiken ,bedankt voor de tip het ziet er supergaaf uit hoor ,laat de zomer maar komen nu he ?!gr van ina

Andrea's Garden said...

Yolanda, you have bought a really nice dining set for outdoors. You sound "blissfully decadent" and rightfully so. :-) One has to have dreams, right? We had grape vines at our old house and after a while the blackbirds were bold enough to eat my grapes even when we were sitting outdoors. That was always a good time for a nice laugh. You will have much fun entertaining. Have a nice evening, Andrea

RUTH said...

I love that dining set, I love the trellis, the vine, the...oh I just love it all! Here's hoping for lots of good weather so you can enjoy your sub vitis dining.

Julia said...

Dear Yolanda, One of the reasons my husband and I want to leave Canada, besides the atrocious weather in the winter, is that when summer DOES arrive, you cannot sit outside in the evenings. Where I live, we must have screens built into every window. I had never seen open doors and windows until I went to England!

I simply CANNOT IMAGINE what it is like to eat outside on a summer's eve. That is a luxury that I have never enjoyed. It is impossible here. At 5 pm, the bugs come out. Huge, bloodsucking mosquitos and blackflies which drive you indoors. You really are very lucky to live in such a wonderful climate. Your blog is helping to cement our decision to move back overseas!

marl1 said...

Pff Canada is dus niet zo sprookjesachtig als gedacht....;-(
Jullie hebben een heerlijk plekje gemaakt- ziet er super uit! En tijdens de lange zomeravonden buiten, kun je vast bedenken wat je met de huiskamer gaat doen, want die wordt toch vrijwel niet meer gebruikt...Want- zeker met verwarming- kun je in de winter ook nog heerlijk.....;-)

Annie in Austin said...

Oh, my goodness, Yolanda - your wonderful grape canopy is beautiful, even if not quite practical here. I love the lights and the combination of clematis with grapevines.

I hope you and your friends enjoy the arbor this summer. This year's rains are producing bloodsucking mosquitos here, too. The garden blogger who'll enjoy Austin's summer will be Pam/Digging with her screened porch room, complete with ceiling fans. Unfortunately, it does not cool off at night in our part of the world.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Rhea said...

That's a beautiful patio setup.

Jen Fu said...


Carol said...

What's for dinner? Everything looks wonderful and inviting, and just invites one to stay and linger on.

Kylee said...

Pretty, pretty, pretty! We have a pergola over our patio that my dad and Romie built six years ago. We've got Trumpet Vine growing over it and wisteria is beginning. Our 'lattice' part is wood, though. Interesting how you've done that one! We have little white lights strung all over it.

I love sitting out there in the evening - well, really anytime. It's so nice and shaded.

Love your Ikea mobiles! I have yet to get to an Ikea store. None near me. :-(

Anita said...

Your outdoor dining room looks wonderful, Yolanda! And I am sure you will enjoy lots of great moments over there this summer!

I am sure the vine & clematis will grow quickly and will soon provide the requested shade, keep us posted!

Oh, I adore your bird chandeliers. I need to look for them on our next visit to Ikea!

Have a wonderful day and happy gardening!


LostRoses said...

Oh, Yolanda, I'm so jealous! Bird chandeliers? I feel like your cat, wanting to stare at them! You've made the most delightful spot!

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

You did it again, it looks wonderful. I can image the grapes in september...I bet you are going to have a lot of lovely summer evenings there.

Tiny said...

Supermooi en gezellig zeg, de tafel en de stoelen. Kun je heerlijk zitten en genieten van alles in je tuin.
En je hebt een mooie tuin.zie al zoveel mooie kleuren bloeien daar.
Gezellige dag en geniet ervan :-)

Hillside Garden said...

Wonderful! Outdoordining is great, but I do it not so often - we have to much sun at the table.


marga said...

Dat ziet er mooi uit zeg.
Een goed idee met die draad er over te spannen....moet ik onthouden.

Green thumb said...

'Absolutely blissfully decadent', undoubtedly. As for me I can only be 'decadent' enough to click on your link, while relaxing outdoors with my laptop, and enjoy a blissful meal imaginig myself in your garden.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Welcome to Bliss everyone!

Ina: ik vond die draden makkelijker omdat die zoveel flexibeler van toepassing zijn. Je kan ze altijd eenvoudig op de geschikte maat maken. En ja, laat die zomer nu maar komen!

Andrea: thanks for sharing the story about the grapes and the blackbirds! We're very happy with our new dining set.

Ruth: thanks!!!

Julia: I had not realised that something which for me is very normal, can be so special to others. I hope that you too will be able to enjoy the pleasure of outdoor dining soon!

Marleen: LOL

Annie: bloodsucking mosquitos, oh dear! Perhaps you should all install screening rooms? My auntie who lives in California has one too, very practical.

Rea and Jen Fu: thanks! We think so too. ;-)

Carol: a garden is to be enjoyed in every sense of the word. It's wonderful to sit outside and look at the beautiful flowers, smell the wonderful fragrance, hear the birds sing and the wind whistle and breath the clean fresh air. Then stuff your face with the very tasty fresh fruit and veggies from the potager. Bliss! :-)

Kylee: what no Ikea? I feel for you my fellow shop-a-holic you! ;-)
BTW I hope to see some pics of your pergola soon! It sounds lovely.

Andrea: thanks, it does look nice, doesn't it? I'm so happy with it!
BTW Ikea has other nice lighting for outdoors too, with flowers and stuff, very nice.

LostRoses: You may look at my bird chandeliers as much as you want to. :-)

Tyra: I hope to spend many a lovely summer evening there in the company of close friends and family.

Tiny: een gezellig hoekje nodigt uit tot lang zitten en kletsen. ;-)

Sigrun: perhaps it is possible to create some shade there so you can dine al fresco a bit more often?

Marga: ik vond het zelf ook wel een goed idee van mezelf. Je moet er even opkomen he? ;-)

Layanee said...

YE: What time is dinner? I'm with Carol! We're coming over!!! Beautiful job. I have yet to set up the outside dining area but when I do post that one, I will ping you! But first, I am going to Ikea and getting some of those bird mobiles so that my cats will be as entertained as yours! I love the wood heater. I think you should post the blueprint! What is in that, lava rocks?

karin a said...

It looks really nice everything; love the dining set, the decking and the pergola! I would certainly enjoy a meal there...

I haven't heard about the clematis 'Ice Queen' but I really do think it will suit the vines. And the bird chadaliers from Ikea (haven't seen them there) are really cute - would love to put them in my future (hopefully) green house!! :)

sisah said...

That outdoor dining-corner looks very inviting! Well done! When will be the "house-warming?"

Naturegirl said...

The seating is just wonderful! I love the bird chandelier and I enlarged to get a better look at your centrepiece!! I LoVe the metal tray with colored you have votives lit in them!Any guest would lOve visiting this garden!Great job!hugs NG

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to Bliss!

Green Thumb: you have such a way with words! ;-)

Karin: a green house? Now that would be nice, wouldn't it? I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!

Sisah: the *garden* warming will be soon. ;-) Glad you're back!

Naturegirl: glad you liked it all, those coloured bottles are very nice aren't they? :-)

Libbys Blog said...

I am so glad I found your blog, in my quest for a 'garden like yours' I now think before I plant 'would Yolanda put that here?' I am still very erratic in my buying of plants, if I like it I buy it so sometimes my colour schemes are a bit off! But I am getting there slowly but surely!
I love IKEA, I think a visit to that store must be in order, soon!
Your wood burning heater is fantastic, I was going to say its 'cool' but thats won't be right!!!lol!!!

Tracy said...

Your outdoor living area is just gorgeous! Since you have everythin you need right there I expect you'll be fairly living out-of-doors until the snow arrives! Your blog is beautiful! With every visit I'm more & more inspired...Happy Days in your lovely garden! :o)

ladyluz said...

You have both done a wonderful job of creating something elegant and welcoming. We'll think of you and raise a glass when we're under our grape arbour - salut!

I love the way your change the cats' pics to show us more of their little idiosyncracies.

(oh, have posted mother duck for you)

Bert said...

Hi Yo,
Lovely table set. Soon the grapes wil hang obove your head when eating there.

Bon apetite!!

lenie said...

dat zijn pracht vogeltjes hahahahahahahahahahaha maar ik hou het toch maar even bij de levende zangers !!!
wij hebben ook zo'n lekkere eetplek buiten op de veranda, zul je veel plezier van gaan hebben , niet alleen met diners maar ook met het ontbijten is het goed vertoeven op ons terras ;))
Groetjes Lenie

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to Bliss!

Layanee: you're welcome!! I think your cats will be highly entertained, especially when the lights are burning. OK on the pinging! ;-) Those rocks are marble but it could be any kind of stone really. I'll put up some more pics of the outdoor woodburner soon, OK? I don't have a blue print, alas!

Libby: my woodburner is so cool, it's hot! :-D Hmm, maybe I should ask Ikea for a commission? ;-) Quite a few of my fellow bloggers are off to buy those lamps.

Tracy: I do spend a lot of my time outdoors at the moment and am enjoying it a lot. Where I live we mostly stay cooped up in our houses for the best part of the year so when the weather is fine we make the most of it. Glad you liked my outdoor living area!

Ladyluz: salut from under our grape arbour! ;-)
I thought it would be boring to show the same pics all the time. Besides I have so many pics of them and I'd like to show my kittycats of as they are so cute. I'm sure you know the feeling. ;-)

Bert: can't wait to see those grapes hanging there!

Lenie: ik dacht wel dat deze vogeltjes bij je in de smaak zouden vallen. ;-) Heerlijk he, om zo'n fijn plekje in de tuin te hebben om even lekker te happen, krantje te lezen en meer van dat soort zaken.

Nicole said...

Wishing you many lovely summer outdoor meals, and entertaining family and friends! I am so impressed with your incredible garden work ethic. OK , so maybe I WOULD do more in the garden if the sun wasn't so hot for most of the day.

Kate said...

Ah Surprise looks so adorable checking out the bird chandeliers, They definitely add to your lovely seating area. The new dining set is gorgeous - and what a wonderful idea to have the wire trellis overhead. Before long, it will be covered with vines and provide even more atmosphere. The wood burner adds to the area as well.

I like the colour of the Conservatory .

Marian said...

Weer eens een poging wagen om te reageren, eerder lukte dit niet.
Heerlijk hè om buiten te "wonen" als het weer het toelaat tenminste,
Dat is het voordeel van een tuin- aan-huis!
Jammer genoeg kan dat bij ons niet, we hebben geen zicht op de tuin vanuit huis, daar moeten we ècht voor naar buiten, dat is het enige nadeel, verder genieten we natuurlijk volop!
Heb jij je druif al langer staan?
Wij hebben er ook ooit een gehad, het eerste jaar een geweldige oogst en een prachtige plant, daarna alleen maar ellende met allerlei ziektes en druiven ho maar!
Die was dus snel "ter ziele"!
Op onze trellis, het enige plekje "aan huis" wat eigenlijk geen tuin mag heten, hebben we een blauwe regen een Akebia en een Clematis groeien.
en nu even duimen dat het lukt (reageren)
groetjes, Marian

SchneiderHein said...

Hallo Yolanda,
eine herrlich einfache aber elegante Konstruktion!
Hoffentlich bewächst sie schnell. Leider werden sich wohl auch die Insekten dort wohl fühlen. Ich habe mich sofort daran erinnert, dass wir mal unter einer Pergola in einem Restaurant gesessen haben, wo sich eine Raupe von oben in den Salat abseilte...
Ich wünsche Euch daher schöne warme Abende mit möglichst wenig Besuch von oben.
Liebe Grüße Silke

Friso said...

Wat een prachtige buiten-eetkamer hebben jullie gemaakt, mijn complimenten. Daar zullen jullie vast veel van gaan genieten!

Entangled said...

That's a very inviting outdoor dining room. I'm imagining all the delicious garden-fresh meals that will served there in the long summer evenings under the vines and those CUTE bird chandeliers.
I immediately went to the Ikea web site to see if I could buy them here, and yes!, they have them in the US. :-)
But no!, they don't have them at any stores near us. :-(
I wonder what the cats think of glowing birds?

Birgit said...

Hallo Yolanda, wunderbare Früchte kannst Du zur Zeit ernten. Die Erdbeeren haben ja gerade ihr schönstes Aroma, und dann aus dem eigenen Garten. Mmh!. Wir hatten auch 3 Jahre welche im Bauerngarten. Nun leider nicht mehr. Aber ich habe auch so wenig Zeit zum Ernten. Das wird mir dann doch zu viel neben Beruf und Haushalt.
Deinen lieben Pelznasen sieht man wieder total an, wie wohl sie sich fühlen in Deinem schönen Garten. Macht große Freude, die Bilder anzusehen.
Deine Sitzecke gefällt mir. Sieht sehr einladen aus. Die Möbel sehr bequem. Ich wünsche Dir auch möglichst schnell ein "Grünes Dach". Leider befürchte ich auch einige ungebetene Gäste darin. Pass also vor dem Essen und Trinken gut auf, in was Du beißt ;-). Liebe Grüße, Birgit

Jalos said...

Wat ziet dat er knus en gezellig uit!
Een heerlijk zitje!