“Fall for Fruit” Article — Flower Magazine, Fall 2009
Are you interested in eco-friendly gardening and urban landscape design? If so, we have just the idea for you—espalier fruit gardening.
Espalier is the art of training a plant to grow on an upright surface, such as a wire or trellis or a wall. This practice dates all the way back to the days of the Pharaohs and their grand gardens. In the medieval period, European monks began the practice again to feed themselves at an abbey with very little space for gardening. They trained fruit trees to climb up courtyards or stone garden walls, which multiplied their harvest. And that is the beauty of the espalier technique.
Maybe you have a small apartment balcony or a farmhouse with many acres. Shrubby fruit and tree fruit can both be espaliered. Popular types of fruit people grow with the espalier technique are blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and grapes. These are easily trained to a wire or trellis. Likewise, apples, pears, figs, peaches, plums, cherries, and citrus trees are wonderful in containers or along a garden wall or fence.
The art of espalier may seem time-consuming, but there are a few forms that any of us can achieve quickly. Read our full article “Fall for Fruit”—published in the Fall 2009 edition of Flower Magazine.