Some weeks are full of change. This has been one of them for me. Not big, exciting, dramatic changes-- just small ones-- changes of schedule, changes in plans, slow & halting progress on my ambitious to-do list. I've felt like a Ferrari engine tearing around on the wheels & frame of a little red wagon. So it must have been Providential that, also this week, I read the Psalm that says, Your gentleness has made me great. I made it my motto. Live gently. And can you believe that while I focused on keeping cool, enjoying each minute, & letting go of what I couldn't control-- spring still arrived, rain still fell, and buds still sprang from the trees? All the work I wanted to get done-- it's still here to!
One of the incomplete items on that To-Do list was a post on the horticultural art of espalier (es-pal-YAY). It sits unfinished in my blog drafts, so here's a little prequel. In the photo above is an espaliered pear tree from This Old House. Espalier is the art of training trees and shrubs to grow flat along a framework, usually a wall or fence. Not only is espalier a space-saving technique, in the case of fruit trees, the tree bears fruit much more heavily than it otherwise would.
I've wanted to grow espaliered fruit trees for years. Last weekend my husband unexpectedly came across a small selection of already trained espaliered apple trees at a local nursery, and I now have two of them planted along a south facing wall in my backyard. Although common in Europe, finding fruit trees already trained into espalier form is difficult in the United States, and in my small town, previously non-existent.
So standby. In the coming days I will photograph my wall of espaliers and pass along the helpful instructions, links & books that first peaked my interest in the art & have helped get me started with the growing & training process. You may also like to take a look at this collection of beautiful espaliered forms that I've saved on Pinterest.