26 DECEMBER 1947, Page 13

Returning Vines It is an established cause of wonder why

the grape-vine has disappeared from England as an out-of-door plant. Michael Drayton and Shakespeare and scores of writers into the eighteenth century allude to English vineyards, and even Keats regarded the vine as a typical decoration of the cottage eaves. Some few vines are, of course, perfectly hardy and usually ripen the fruit. It is now claimed that even the tenderer—and much more luscious—hothouse grapes can be successfully grown out of doors by a cunning use of portable glass. Mr. Bush (writing his usual breezy diary in the Countryman) tells of "a friend who, by confining under cloches the shoots fruiting this year and allowing those for fruiting next year to grow in the open, expects to be able to ripen even choice greenhouse varieties outside." A variety called Ascot Citronelle with a muscat flavour is alleged to be the best outside grape. It is not, I think, one of those generally advised by the trade. Any grape, even if it does not ripen its fruit in time, is well worth growing on a pergola. So indeed is an American blackberry. Beauty and use may coincide, even in the flower garden.