Sunday, 6 June 2010

For the love of espaliers

Had a day out last weekend to revisit the very lovely West Dean Gardens over near Chichester, which is one of the places that first inspired me to try my hand at growing fruit & veg, particularly the walled kitchen gardens.

Admired lots of beautiful shaped espaliered trees & soft fruits, something I've always fancied having a go at doing.

Will do some reading & research this year, and think about planting something up next winter. I have a 20 ft tall wall in my back garden that gets full sunshine from mid-morning through to sun-down. Not sure I could ever bring myself to tear down & destroy the Campanula which flowers about 9 months of the year, but is at it's most glorious right now:I could train an apricot or fig around the bushy flowers, though I think it's the symmetry of espaliered trees that I find so appealing. I'm not sure why I'm so reluctant to tackle the wall - Campanula pops up in pretty much all my garden pots and in all the cracks between the paving slabs constantly and I'm forever tearing up and composting clumps of the stuff before it takes over everywhere. I think it's just that I always really look forward to the month of May when the full-on purpleness is overwhelming.

Probably my favourite thing at West Dean, is the pear tree arched walkway. Think I'll need a bigger plot or garden to make something like this though.
Oh yes, and some cash, bucketloads of patience, and a lifetime of pruning.


  1. Hey there, I started an espaliered apple tree this year. I got a White Pearmain that is self fertile and have it growing along some wires in my veggie patch. I bought a new apple tree this weekend and am looking to train it along my roof deck. Go for it! Its lots of fun and not too tricky once you get some books and read about it! And that wall you have will definitely be a great home for some fruit trees. Good luck!

  2. Hi, I started an espaliered apple tree this year. It was a bit daunting but its survived so far so thats a good sign! Go for it up that huge wall you have. You can sneak em inbetween your beautiful flowers. UDG

  3. decisions, decisions, but that wall you have there deserves an espalier, but what? apple, pear, magnolia, pyracantha? but you could leave some campanula drifting through...

  4. Forget the wall; you need one of those pear walkways. Make it happen. It only takes determination (okay, and lots of space, money and time, but you have to have goals)...