In all honesty, we could have just taken the plants back to the store. The Old Man claimed it was all trickery, but really he wanted the fruit, too.
We had gone to the hardware store for something else. I don’t even remember what it was, but it for sure wasn’t this particular plant. The plant was Hardy Kiwi. I had read about it before when looking up information about kiwis in general, trying to find out if I could get them to grow in my zone 9 garden. The answer seems to be “no”. Except for Hardy Kiwi.
They are a relative of the kind of kiwi fruits you see at the store, but as the name implies, they are much hardier, handling temperatures way below freezing. I don’t have to worry about that too much here, but we get just cold enough that most kiwis won’t make it. They apparently also grow a monster-ton of tasty, grape-sized fruit, anywhere from 50-100 pounds a year! And that’s one of the problems.
Hardy Kiwis are vines. Big vines. Up to 40 foot vines. And that’s one of the other problems. Soooo…. where do we put them? I was finding out this information from the comfort of my couch. After the plants had been purchased and brought home. Perfect timing. That’s when the Old Man said I tricked him.
My suggestion was simple. It would be relatively easy. It would be relatively inexpensive. It would be up to the Old Man to make it happen (I’m simply the idea person here). Build an arbor. Another one.
You see, we (I) had already purchased an arbor not even a year ago. It was a pre-fab kit, just assembly required (by the Old Man). It’s big, it was much more expensive (and fancier). But it’s in the front yard, and this would be in the back. This would be smaller, and I would devise the plans to use readily accessible materials, and not much assembly. It would be so much easier! And just think of all the fruit! (I sure hope those vines produce like they say they will, or I’ll never hear the end of it!)
Explaining my thoughts took shape in various forms. First on paper, then with Legos, then with colored popsicle sticks and lots of tape. Then the Old Man started adding in his own thoughts on how to best assemble this arbor to support the vines and their fruits and where to best locate it. It took some time and effort, and extra helping hands from the oldest son who had stopped by for something else, and a friendly neighbor who just happened to be home when we needed to move it around a bit. But it’s done and up, and now those vines better do what they need to do!