Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Espalier and Cordon trees

I'm currently doing research for a client who wants a productive garden, especially fruit trees, in a 10 x 5m space behind a small Victorian terrace house.  Last September I took these photos at Hampton Court, in the car park, where this beautiful new wall has been planted up maybe one or two years ago, apparently to display wall training methods for fruit trees.

The wall has a pleasing bond, 6 rows of stretcher and a row of headers, which gives a horizontal dynamic.  The mortar looks to be traditional lime (no cement) and the bricks themselves not machine-made. The craftsmanship in the brickwork, combined with the expertise required to train the trees creates a reassuring feeling of competence and durability.  In a garden, the marriage of this kind of use of materials and choice of planting allows a certain relaxation, as if safe in the hands of a strong father.

My client is a joiner who, because he is so able and obliging, often takes on general building and project management and so works far too hard for his health.  I am hoping that the technical aspect of working with trained fruit trees and bushes will appeal to him and he'll use his garden to relax. He's also a great cook, so fruit to the fore.

Single cordon - very productive for size

Fan form (I think) here for cherries

Double 'U' cordon
Crossing cordons - stems may fuse together

Classic espalier

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