Thursday, September 22, 2011

Espalier experiment

Espalier is the art of growing a tree--generally a fruit tree--in a shape by tying or attaching the branches so they grow in a flat plane, usually in a formal design.

I've always been intrigued by espalier. The pictures are so pretty, especially when they are in flower or in fruit.

So, recently at school, I noticed there was a little seedling in the garden outside my room. I have a little covered area with a bench outside of the exterior door to my classroom. I like to call it "the patio." The seedling seems to have come from a crabapple tree nearby.

I asked my principal if it was okay if I dug it up. Honestly, the maintenance men do their spring clean-up with a weed-whacker. I felt for this little seedling that got hacked half to death each year. My principal said I could dig it up and plant it at my house. She is a savior of the earth, for sure.

I dug it up and brought it home.

Here is the spot where I envision my espalier. I've read up a bit on it and apparently, a brick wall provides a bit of a microclimate, since the brick absorbs the heat from the sun during the day and lets off the heat when the sun goes down. I also thought this area could use a bit of visual interest. This area of the garden is a bit challenging, since all of the utility wires run down this side of the house. It makes planting here a bit tricky...but right next to the wall, you miss the wires and that is where I planted the seedling.

Although my seedling had two nice shoots, I decided to prune off the smaller of the two to have one central leader on my tree.

I planted the seedling against the brick wall. I've decided to let it have a little time to get acclimated before I start doing some heavy-duty tying of branches to wires to shape it.
I'll keep you posted.....

Linking to these parties....
Time Travel Thursday at The Brambleberry Cottage
Fridays Unfolded at Stuff and Nonsense
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Show and Share Day at Just a Girl
Simply Creations Link Party at Simple Home Life
Addicts (not so) Anonymous Addicted to Decorating
Flaunt Your Flowers at Tootsie Time
Sunday Showcase Party at Under the Table and Dreaming
Project Parade at The DIY Showoff
Creative Bloggers' Party and Hop at Homemaker on a Dime
Tip-Toe Thru Tuesday at Crayon Freckles
Fertilizer Friday at Tootsie Time


Jen @ Domesticated Nomad said...

Very cool. I'll have to keep up on how it's doing. Matt, my husband and true gardener of our pair, wants to grow grapes Espalier on the wall of the garage. It's right next to our new patio, so I think it would be lovely. He's been studying on how to do it. Our neighbor offered to give him the grapes, so he should be ready to go next spring.

Millie said...

Good luck with your espalier!