The hops I planted to grow over the pergola at the orchard entrance here at Struan Farm are doing well. Really well. Early on I was a bit worried, they took some time to get going, but they're vigorous growers as advertised. As previously confessed to you, we're not the best at training anything that needs lots of encouragement and frequent oversight. I'm hoping these will flower in autumn before going dormant in winter.
The grapes, on the other hand, are a different story. Two of the plants we planted in the main pergola in the house gardens died, all four were set upon by rabbits. I put out garlic, chile powder and chicken wire to protect them as much as possible. At the moment one plant is doing reasonably well and one is struggling. I'm about to pull the struggler out and leave the survivor to grow up one corner. John and I have decided that we like the structure of this pergola as a visual element in the garden, so now aren't sure we want or need it covered by plants. Plus it will be much easier to paint without plants all over. (Despite what you may think, we do consider the maintenance work involved longer term in all this, don't let ourselves get totally carried away.)
Perhaps the grapes sensed our indecision and reacted accordingly. Or they needed more love and attention than I have been able to give them. I guess I hadn't realised grapes would be this sensitive either way, I thought they were hardy and just got on with it. Who knew they were snowflakes?