the espaliered fruit tree fits into a small garden or a tiny farm so neatly. we like to train them against the tall fences here like it’s a victorian walled kitchen garden, facing the south in a warm, protected spot. this is ideal for peach, apricot or nectarine, essential for most citrus here, and i’ve tried espaliering quince, peach, apple, persimmon, lemon and fig so far.
this quince is much happier now i’ve removed the encroaching ivy, and cut down a fence post (i’ve moved it over) which i’ve been meaning to get to for oh, seven years. after we planted it we found four rather wild quinces nearby in the thicket. but one rarely has enough for the likes of quince jelly, quince brandy, quince butter or quince cheese, so the more the merrier.
to grow a large tree, yet take up hardly any space at all, espaliering and cordoning are amazing skills. this is proper vertical gardening, much like the grapevine happily illustrates. while it’s much fussier than any other kind of pruning around here, what a pleasure when you see the tree taking shape and enjoying its spot along the fence. every sunny wall offers another excuse to plant more trees in the edible garden.
stay tuned to see how this bit of pruning and weeding shapes up. i’ve planted haybale potatoes at the feet of this quince, too!
there’s lots of exciting possibilities springing up over here, i can’t wait to tell you about. to start, this coming week i’ll be giving a talk for the good folks at verge permaculture who have their own academy. it’ll be recorded, so, more very soon.