After my first, incredibly hot summer in a weatherboard house with no insulation, no air-conditioning, and not even very good ventilation, I knew I needed to do something very quickly to shade the western side of the house. Grapes were the obvious solution, providing shade in summer and letting light and warmth through in the winter.
I was very lucky that my partner at the time was extremely handy and very keen to do things around the house – he built me a pergola that the grapes could climb up, providing excellent shade to that side of the house – thank you Les.
Grapes grow very quickly and within two years of planting them they had become quite thick. On a hot day, as soon as you walk underneath the pergola the temperature cools by at least five degrees.