I know most of our gardening thoughts these days are focused on mums, magnolias and evergreens but I’ve been playing around with the idea of growing some espalier along the side of our potting shed and have found myself pinning esaplier inspiration images like crazy. Next thing I knew I had gone down a full fledged rabbit hole and thought I’d share some of what I’ve found and learned with my fellow espalier lovers!
According to the Oxford dictionary, espalier is “a fruit tree or ornamental shrub whose branches are trained to grow flat against a wall, supported on a lattice or a framework of stakes.” The gardening technique began with the Romans and was perfected by the French centuries later who gave the classic technique the trademark designs we recognize today.
I found a great article here that breaks down how to grow espalier and explains the five most common types of espalier: “Cordon (branches straight out to the sides), Fan (branches fanning up and to the side), Candelabra (like a cordon but the branches turn at a right angle to form the shape of a candelabra), lattice (multiple trees with crossing branches), and Y shapes.” There are also variations of each of the types listed above such as oblique cordon and Belgian fence espalier. I’m still not convinced I have enough of a green thumb to pull it off but I think I might try this spring!
If you love espalier as much as I do, here are a few of my favorite inspiration images to help inspire you to get the look and give an extra dose of beauty to the start of your week!
Cover image via Leah O’Connell Design