My first espalier
The term espalier refers to the way fruit trees are trained to grow against a wall. It looks stunning and makes the tree easier to prune and the fruit easier to pick. I love this decorative method and it’s often seen in traditional walled kitchen gardens – luckily it’s also perfectly suited to smaller gardens too. This fellow looks quite wimpy at the moment but in a few years he’ll look fabulous hopefully!
I’m thankful that I was able to buy a ready-trained tree – getting the shape right initially is the hardest thing apparently and I’m not sure whether I’m brave enough to start one from scratch yet. The espalier tree has two tiers of branches trained horizontally on either side of the stem. My husband fixed two horizontal wires into the wall and secured them tightly. We ensured that the tree was planted at the same height as the soil mark on the stem, it was firmly heeled in and then watered well. The branches were then secured to the wire with soft ties.
The blossom is really beautiful and I’m looking forward to the next few weeks. This dessert variety is from the late Victorian period and it apparently tastes very “appley” which is somewhat reassuring!!