Thursday, 28 February 2013

February Finishes - Time to warm up.







The last days of  February signal the end of winter. We'll still get some cool days but can expect more warm than cold weather to come. We've been lucky this year, the wind has blown mostly from the South and kept the temperatures generally in double figures. Last winter, our first back in Bodrum for 12 years, was one of the coldest on record and as one mega electricity bill followed another, we wondered if our dream of semi-retirement was going to be over before it got started.  Our meter was read yesterday and our February 2013 bill is almost exactly half of the same month in 2012, despite price hikes. So either we have become considerably hardier or we've not needed the heating much. 







It's easy to imagine summer's on the way when all the fields are full of anemones and daisies and the citrus blossom  is beginning to release its heady perfume.




February is the month for the grapevines over our courtyard to get a short back and sides, leaving only three buds left on each branch. This should ensure a good crop of grapes through July and August and provide enough greenery to block out the sun.  In March and April, the new leaves will be just the right size to stuff with rice, or deep-fry in a tempura batter. 


By June, the vine will hopefully look like this again. 


The pruner's mate wasn't much use. He kept bringing back all the discarded branches. 


20 comments:

  1. A lovely description of anticipated warmth and abundance.....can't wait.

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  2. It's really feeling like Spring now and I love it. We haven't actually needed to use heating at all this winter which is a relief when I also remember the bills from this time last year.

    Jake is so helpful isn't he? Kaya was trimming bamboo sticks yesterday, and Poppy kept gathering up discarded bits...funny dogs.

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    1. Last year I even had an electric blanket on our sofa!

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  3. Looking at your lovely photos made us nostalgic for our house in America which had a beautiful garden complete with grapevines and, usually, a pruner's mate as well. (Not so much that we'd want to go back, mind you.) Jake's picture made me really miss our late pals. Lucky you!

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    1. Freedom of travel or dogs? Can't easily have both (without staff)

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  4. I was already homesick before I read this!! (sighs)

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    1. I'm sure you'll be on your way soon.

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  5. Lovely photographs and I am very envious of you being able to count on the departure of winter now that February is over. Here in the UK it's certainly warmer but of course we are all assuming it's just a brief respite. And as for the prospect of sun......

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    1. March in UK can be glorious or foul. Hope it's glorious.

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  6. What gorgeous colours, Annie. It's still cold here for quite a bit longer but I have noted the vine-pruning tips as we have a vine in our new house which will need looking at soon. I'm sure you are hardier this year - I found the homes in the UK really hot and overwhelming when I went back at Christmas - I have adjusted to the temperatures here.
    Axxx

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    1. We didn't prune until mid-March last year 'cos of the cold weather. I've junked myself with this post because this evening it's turned chilly and I've had to put the heater on.

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  7. Love your courtyard and Jake is adorable!!! Would love to have a courtyard covered with grape leaves.

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    1. Very useful when stuffed vine leaf time comes around, but lots of leaves to sweep up in the Autumn.

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  8. We have a friend visiting from England and the summer has immediately turned to winter...rain every afternoon, though it has to be said it is not cold....
    She's thinking of sueing the tourist board.

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    1. We'll still get plenty of rain, but as long as it's warm I don't mind.

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  9. Spring is my favourite time of year in Turkey. Fabulous!

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    1. I've sown some poppy seeds around John's tree - hope they come up.

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  10. Oh those flowers - and in February too! Here our daffodils have barely pushed through the grass, let alone come into flower. It was 4C today. Sigh....

    I love the thought of eating the pruned vine leaves, while anticipating the harvest to come. :-)

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    1. Vine leaves are a staple of early summer cooking here.

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