Living at Abbey Court, we get used to the walls. sometimes it takes a visitor’s joy in them to look again and realise how lucky we are to have this gentle brickwork with the traces of colour and plaster from years gone by.
They make a soft setting for our plants and flowers.
The grapevine from over our neighbour’s garden on the back wall is attractive in summer, and as the grapes ripen in autumn, the walls are the perfect background.
Last week I found the gardeners intent on ripping all the climbers from the top of the wall. It’s to protect them, I was told. Otherwise moisture is trapped and the walls are endangered.
However, the Royal Horticultural Society has different advice, saying that it is a popular misconception that all vines and climbers damage walls. The ones to watch are evergreens, particularly ivies, and we don’t have those. We used to have the destructive Russian vine, but that has now been cleared.
The vines on our walls will die away in the next weeks, so that soon they will be bare again until next spring.
In the shady wall behind the cherry tree, maybe one of these would be rather nice.