Thursday, May 3, 2012


es·pal·ier  (-splyr, -y)
1. A tree or shrub that is trained to grow in a flat plane against a wall, often in a symmetrical pattern.
2. A trellis or other framework on which an espalier is grown.
[French, from Italian spallierashoulder support, from spallashoulder.

As often happens, I become a little obsessed with something once I start to research it. I planted the gorgeous espaliered apple tree in my garden and it is just splendid. The way it fills the space vertically without taking up the entire bed really makes it a valuable addition to small gardens. 
Many years ago I bought this topiary book because I was working with Ivy on forms for the indoors. I had not looked at it in years. It is timeless and the photography is beautiful. 

There are so many options when working with espaliered trees and shrubs. With enough patience you can train just about anything that branches into an espalier. Not having a lot of patience, I bought one already finished. 
Here are some examples.

 Lovely against a brick wall.

 They also do well in pots.

 Adding another layer to the pyramidalis screen with an espaliered tree adds so much interest to this garden.

 Old weathered buildings are the best.

 This just makes the fence look so much better.

 Ivy is evergreen and grows fast,but you would have to really keep on top of the trimming to contain it.

 This is so wonderful, the hedge of boxwoods is just the right finishing touch.

 A feast for the eyes!

 In Europe they grow their orchards this way to make picking the fruit so much easier. Doesn't that just make sense?

An example of an evergreen. I am thinking of trying this but more of the ball style.

We can all dream, can't we? One pigeon coop to go please.


  1. Just a great tip for me...working on our garden now and had no idea about using this wicked tree...maybe I try it...and btw, I got my paintstore owner guy get me the wall paper you have in your dining room! Lis, I am so happy...I will have it in 2 weeks((: Thanks for all your tips, it has been a pleasure visiting your blogs and getting ideas! ciao and have a lovely weekend, Z

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  4. Hello with regard to the espaliered trees in pots, the second image, were these espaliered on a frame or were they hand trimmed to the shape they are?

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