A firm hand is required in autumn

In her first French garden dispatch, Cathy Thompson is pruning and grafting

Fruit has a special place at the heart of French culture. Whether it be grapes, pears, apples or the little mirabelle plums so beloved of housewives in Lorraine (where I garden), this is a country that rejoices in appreciation of what’s in season. As for the French love affair with fruit grown in exceptionally ornamental shapes, it began to flourish at a stage when most of the rest of Europe was just plucking apples off semi-wild trees.

Consequently, I’d be surprised to hear of anyone moving into a French house and garden who had not inherited a top-heavy grapevine on a spindly support or an old apple tree crying out for attention. October is certainly a month to begin planting new stock, but it’s also a good time to plan your assault on the overgrown vine.

First off, get rid of the old tottering ‘pergola’ construction ...

To read the remaining 85% of this article, you need to either

Subscribe now to The Connexion and benefit from access to our archived articles since 2006

Freedom Subscription

Pay every three months. Our most flexible subscription.

Subscription automatically renews so you don't miss an edition (you can switch this off at any time)

1 Year Subscription (12 editions) (Our best value offer)

1 year of great reading in print and online

Subscription automatically renews so you don't miss an edition (you can switch this off at any time).

Loading some business profiles...

Loading some classifieds...