Thursday, April 11, 2013

Espalier! Yay!

Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy this informative video on espaliered trees!  Then try to guess who is getting new trees this Spring?

If you're unfamiliar with espalier, it's a way of training tiny, branchless saplings (called whips) into beautiful two-dimensional shapes. It's generally done with apple or pear trees, but other types of trees such as willow can be used, too. It can take up to four years to accomplish the desired shape, but the result is so stunning, it's worth the wait. Here are some different types of espalier:

This man is a font of knowledge on the topic of espaliered trees...

I could listen to Peter Thevenot's voice all day!  (Especially when he pronounces French words!) When I called the orchards, located in Tennessee, I had to listen really hard to understand what they were saying!

Eight thousand projects and only two hands!  If I were a patient woman I could espalier my own trees.  It doesn't look too difficult!  I'm not getting any younger, though!  I could die before I see the results!

Click here for more information on River Road Farms.

Going to paint my secretary now!




  1. Love their stuff.

    Been espaliering for decades.

    Will never forget seeing a blue mophead hydrangea espaliered in Italy.

    Came home and espaliered an oakleaf hydrangea at my baywindow.

    Thanks for the video....

    Garden & Be Well, XO T

  2. Loving this video. I adore espalier and appreciate all the work and TLC they represent. Haven't seen the hydrangeo Tara mentioned, but doesn't it sound wonderful? And, I understood every single word they said 'cause I speak exactly like this. :)'s

  3. i have dreamt of getting his trees, just dive down with a big truck....sigh

  4. I live in Tennessee and never knew of this. Thanks for the info. I cannot wait to see your masterpiece!

  5. Hi Andie...I hope you can help an old (almost 73) lady out here. I saw your post yesterday about the grisaille art panels you are planning to use on your beautiful secretary. I went to the "Zazzle" website to view them but I could only locate 32 samples either in color or black and white...but did not see any like yours or even a smattering of the "52,000" you said you viewed. If you could give me some tips at I would appreciate it. I am interested mainly in either black and white or ones in the grey tones. Thank you, Mary Stone

  6. Great ideas for our gardens! Thank you for the information:)

  7. No bandwidth so can't see the video but do know of espaliered trees; it's almost a lost art and glad this man is doing great things to keep it alive.

  8. Ok what is the latest with the secretary...? I once had a house with an espaliered mock orange, and it was very nice! But I really want to know about your secretary!!!

  9. Oh I like those fancy trees LOL you always see them in pictures of large estates in Europe

    surely you will live another 4 years to see your end results ? LOL

  10. This is wonderful, Andie--can't wait to see your trees! I learned how to graft fruit trees at our local Home Orchard Society in Portland, Oregon a few years ago, and I created an espaliered Belgian fence out of mini-dwarf apple and pear trees. It took about 5 years for it to become established, but now we are enjoying apples and pears from it each fall. I think you will really enjoy the trees, and espalier makes it much easier to pick the fruit when it's ripe, because you often don't need a ladder.

  11. Oh Andie this is so right up your alley! Can't wait to see what you come up with. Happy Weekend!

  12. Andie,
    Now all I want to do is draw and paint these Espaliered trees and talk with a Tennessee accent. Loved his voice and his passion for what he does.

  13. Oh, j'adore les espaliers! J'en veux un! There is a beautiful white ch√Ęteau in town that has a pink crab apple espalier growing up over the front entrance....DROOL!

    Hi there sweet Andie! I just saw your comment come in. Thank you for visiting and seeing me at Disneyland at the age of seven, in my little blue coat. LOVE! Anita

  14. Can't wait to see the results of your Garden Vision coming to Life!

    Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

  15. Looking forward to seeing your garden. Have a great weekend.....Tallulah

  16. I have always been fascinated with espaliered fruit trees from the moment I first saw them as a child.

    It's a very old horticultural art. I think it goes back as far as Mediaeval Europe and may have existed even before that.

    I was told the original idea behind it was more practical than aesthetic. The idea was to control the growth of the fruit trees in a such a way as to make picking the fruit less of a chore. In most instances the fruit appears on the flattened branches in great abundance and all within easy picking distance from the ground.

    I'm sure you could grow one on a sturdy trellis, but a masonry wall has always been the surface of choice I believe.

    Like creating topiary and bonsai trees it's a fine art that requires much time and a lot of patience.

    GO FOR IT, Andie. You're still young and have time to bring such a project to fruition. (Pun intended! ;-)

  17. So funny...I was working in my garden today and moved some raised beds and thought to myself that I should add some espaliered trees along the fence! I don't have the time to do it myself - there's a nursery in town that sells them.

  18. I believe he's the one that I've seen from time to time helping P Allen Smith grow these on his show. They are beautiful!

  19. Hi cutie! Are you alright? :O Slow down and take 3 deep every time.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  20. Life is always A Work in Progress.

    Our work is never finished n matter how much we may accomplish.

    That must be why in Truth LIFE is ETERNAL.

    We don't really die, we pass on to the HERE -- AFTER.

    So, please take this famous advice:

    We're only here for a little stay.
    Don't worry. Don't hurry.
    Just be sure to stop and smell the flowers along the way.

  21. My Goodness Woman! You say you are not a patient person? Are you kidding me?! I crave for an ounce of your patience. Maybe it is your discipline I crave, I don't know. You seem quite patient to me, you are willing to drive 3 hours for a great craigslist find, you are willing to redo furniture pieces that are so intricate and if you don't like it, you redo it again. Sigh. Keep it up-you inspire me :-)

  22. Who is getting new trees? Hmmm, let me think, your neighbour, your cousin twice removed, the Constant Gardener? Oh, it's YOU! Can't wait to see how you will shape your tree(s). I guess, a man speaking French can talk a girl into anything, even into making espaliered trees ;-).
    Sorry, I don't have time to comment as often as in the past, but I visit and enjoy every post. Big hugs xoxo.


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