March 21, 2014

All Change

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.

Until then,
Live Gently. 



  1. Oh Keri, how I love what you just said here. I believe in living gently as well, and what better place to be reminded of this truth than from the scriptures. Who knows better that our Lord that the path to peace and righteousness is through a gentle life. YES! BRING IT ON.

    The thought of an espalier warms me up. I have wanted one for years, and the only place to have one would be on our southern exposed wall, but my husband doesn't want to deal with anything on that wall anymore! BOO HOO! teeehee

    OH may your days toward spring and warmth, gardening and fun in the sun be numbered with joyful anticipation my friend. Thank you for posting, for I DO THINK OF YOU OFTEN! And thank you also for coming by. Much love, Anita

  2. Eagerly anticipating your posts of progress in the realm of espalier!

  3. Living gently .. I love that! Your gardening plans sound exciting. We are all looking forward to spring and little more sunshine here in the Seattle area. I'll pop back over to see your progress with the Espalier;)

  4. Keri,
    Now that I read your recount of the Psalm, I remember it from long ago. It's so good to be reminded to calm oneself and take one step at a time when life gets hectic.
    I love espalier. I have a post planned showing a rosa banks I espaliered. It was inspired by an apple espalier I installed in my son and daughter-in-law's yard. The fruit espalier are readily available here in Southern California, but they are quite expensive. I will look forward to reading about your pear and watching its progress.

    I hope this weekend is providing you with some relaxation. :-)

  5. Sounds like you have some creative gardening plans...Its been beautiful here...cant complain!

  6. Hi Keri,
    I can't wait to see the photos of your espaliered apple trees. I haven't planted mine yet but am looking forward to getting them in. They are so beautiful. But I know what you mean about time. Life sometimes gets away from us and we just need to keep calm. It will all get done eventually. Glad you are able to do so!
    xx Sunday

  7. Dear Keri, I have tried to leave a comment on several blogs I follow, but Google has other ideas! This is something near and dear to my heart...accepting the pace and circumstances which are set for us from above...just trust in that divine gently sounds just about right! The art of espalier is something every gardener wishes to master, at least this Mom had it down ! with roses and fruit trees...looking forward to your progress with it...N.xo

  8. I had planned on espaliered apple trees last year but we spent the money elsewhere. I am so grateful for that because this Winter was so fierce and the snow so high that the bunnies stood on the drifts of snow and ate the bark above the tree wrap on all my new trees! Every last one!
    I learned a valuable lesson about wrapping trees all the way up!
    Enjoy your Spring and please send some to Chicago!



  9. Good morning Keri my dear gardener and friend!

    I want to thank you for coming over to my post; yes, all is well, but a blogger friend was recently diagnosed and I felt the need to write about it. But my parents and aunts all died from some form of cancer or another. But let us continue the life of the earth as we see miracles unfold in our gardens. AND I TOO want an espalier so badly! This one is quite remarkable, and there is a gorgeous white brick home not far from here with an espaliered pink crabapple tree over the doorway.....STUNNING! Much love, Anita


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