Monday, December 8, 2008


Today's A Word A Day is espalier. Beside being a famous restaurant in Boston, espalier is the technique of flat tree growing.

At first glance this might strike you as alternatively beautiful and crazy, but it made perfect sense inside a medieval courtyard when light was good, but space was limited. Because this maximizes sunlight on the branches, this manipulation is also a way to grow fruit trees in cooler climates where they would not normally grow.

I think it's beautiful, and unlike topiaries, has a more than just decorative purpose.

More information about the trees, shrubs, vines, and patterns of espalier can be found here.


SUE LANDSMAN-- said...

That's like, gardening for people who can't stand three dimensions. I need my trees to be flat or I shall ulcerate!

Lynne said...

It totally looks like something even I could grow.