It has happened! For the first time in fifteen years our vine has produced dark luscious grapes. Edible too. Small and sweet and purple. Last year it managed green hard balls that withered before ripening.

Yesterday I picked four bunches of beautiful ripe grapes. They were hanging  on the almost bare branches which had the occasional yellow vine leaf falling off them. I had given up on them completely. There had been the initial flush of delight when the first tiny balls emerged but nothing happened. So I ignored the vine, peering under the leaves only when I was near the fence, which was rare. I picked the pears- a bumper crop this year, I picked the sweet bay leaves and put up a couple of jars of them, but I didn’t even pick the vine leaves.

Now, as we are leaving it behind, the vine decides to put forth its bounty. Next door has quite a few of our bunches hanging over their side too. So it’s rewarding them for not buying our house! Or maybe it’s a final ditch attempt to entice them to buy. The colours are quite spectacular- the very dark bruise of the grape and the mustardy speckled yellow of the leaf against the wood. As a farewell from the garden, it rends the heart.

Years ago I planted a fig tree along side the vine. It never thrived. The vine grew and produced leaves but not fruit. Every one ‘neath their vine and fig tree shall live in peace and unafraid. Perhaps in the new place both will grow. I am thankful I have been blessed with the fruits before I leave.