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Grapevine Canopies / Awnings ('Galleries')

Climbing plants, and especially grapevines, are ideal for creating green projecting roofs in the form of canopies, or "galleries." Some examples are given here. This type of facade greening originates from southern countries, where the oven-like temperatures emanating from walls are rather harmful to the espaliered vines. They are thus trained away from the walls, providing much needed shade at the same time.

Vine stock on a house in Wimpfen / Baden-Württemberg, ca. 1890

To support the formation of a canopy / awning made of grapevines, sturdy mountings or wall brackets are required through which wires or wire ropes can be threaded parallel to the wall. The brackets are available from metalworking shops, and you will need to make sure that their loading capacity is adequate for high fruit yields, windy situations, etc.. The yearly new shoots will first grow upwards before falling back under the effect of their own weight to settle on the support wires and intertwine with each other. The images below show some vine-training variations which can be changed and combined.

A green gallery made of grapevine
Vine gallery
Photo illustrating Variation 03: Cordon close to the wall, predominantly trained in a narrow "comb" form (see below), before winter pruning
Gallery with grapevine
Vine Gallery
Photo for variation 05: A cordon with distance from wall, trained to cascade (so like a curtain, with falling shoots- see below, before winter pruning
'Curtain' greening (vine as a pergola)
Grapevine awning
Training a grapevine into a canopy
Support structures for vine canopies are usually available from local building fitters / metalworkers.
Grape variety "Portugieser"
Combination of several training variations on a gallery (see below), before winter pruning
Combination of training variations
Grapevine gallery
Support bracket for vines
Grapevine pergola

Training Methods for Canopy-Grapevines

The Support Structure
A schematic illustration of a grapevine gallery above a house entrance, constructed with long brackets and either tensioned wires or fitted rods (crossbeams)
Variation 01
Horizontal cordon, spur pruned and close to the facade. Suitable for an awning/canpoy projecting less than 0.5 m. For a denser foliage-canopy, change the pruning gradually to rod (mid-length) pruning.
Variation 02
Cordon close to the facade about 1.0 m wide. The arms are ~ 60 cm apart and cane (long) pruned. Each year, a new arm is added on each side.
Variation 03
Cordon close to the wall in a tight "comb" form, ideal for a canopy more than 0.5 m wide; this form can be developed from Variation 02. In that case, each of the 2 - 4 shoots (teeth) of the "comb" is spur pruned.
Variation 04
Cordon close to the wall in a wide "comb" form, suitable for galleries 1.0 m wide and over. The teeth (shoots) of the 'comb' can be arranged in various ways and, depending on the distance between them and the desired foliage density, can be either spur, rod or cane pruned; that is: short, medium, or long pruned.
Variation 05
In contrast to Variation 01, here the spur-pruned horizontal cordon was placed further away from the wall. This form allows the shoots to cascade so that the greenery falls along the front-- "curtain training."