Have your fruit and eat it!
Fabulous Space Saver
One way to enjoy the fruits of your gardening labours without imposing on your garden space is to use espalier.
Using this ancient agricultural practice will not only allow room to add more trees to your garden area, it is a great decorative feature as well. Trees are tied against a structure such as a wall, a fence or a trellis and pruned so that the main branches grow across the structure.
By controlling the woody growth of your trees into a two-dimensional form in this way, you can enjoy fruits and nuts when they are in season. The shape of the espalier makes it easy to pick your favourite citrus and stone fruits and nuts. Leafy plants can also be trained into decorative features across an otherwise unsightly wall or fence. It’s a great way to add texture and colour to your garden space.
If your garden is limited in area, you might think that growing trees is out of the question. With regular pruning and attention, you can grow a number of trees around the perimeter of your property or along a stand-alone trellis where the espalier becomes a decorative and effective screen.
If you have the space, you can be even more adventurous and create a beautiful archway which is festooned with fruit and adds an interesting and dynamic feature leading visitors from one area to another.
Espalier trees are trained to grow a central stem with a number of paired, horizontal branches along the same plane. In a temperate climate, the trees can be planted next to a wall that reflects more sunshine and retains the heat of the day overnight. This in fact, allows the fruiting season to be extended and the fruit has more time to mature.
A big advantage of growing espalier is that you can increase the growth of each branch by training it vertically. With careful pruning, you can increase the fruit production of the tree.
You might like to experiment with the shape you create with your espalier to add decorative features to your home garden making it more pleasant to be in. You will be proud to invite guests out into the back yard to enjoy your little bit of nature with you.
Remember to create a garden that you love being in. It’s great for your wellbeing.
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