Common Name: Ornamental vine
Skill Level: Experienced
Exposure: Full sun, Partial shade
Soil type: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Chalky/alkaline, Sandy
Time to plant seeds: September to May
Time to take cuttings: January to April
The purple grape vine looks good from late spring until mid-autumn, making it one of the most valuable climbers for a small or medium-sized garden. The young foliage soon starts to take on bronzy tones which deepen to mauve, and then rich deep purple in autumn. This coincides with the ripening of the small bunches of grapes, almost exactly the same colour as the leaves. The grapes are small and bitter, but can be eaten even though full of pips they are best used as garnishes or left on the plants for decoration. When ripe, even the birds are reluctant to feed on them. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its Award of Garden Merit (AGM).