Zoe Poster is one of the most soulful gardeners I know. She is also a talented photographer, elegant writer, whimsical artist and (I’ve never tasted her food, but I know it has to be divine) cook. When I saw this picture of her espaliers the other day and read her post, below, on her blog pearled earth I just said “Wow.” I’ve wanted to do this for so long! But I don’t really have a spot for it, and, okay, I’ll be honest, the discipline or time to take care of them properly. Now I’m thinking I really need to add espaliers to my bucket list. After I create that bucket list . . . the bucket list I’ve said I’d like to add things on before, but never created. See why I don’t have espaliers?
For the first time, our apple espaliers look like the real deal (we planted them five or six years ago, depending on whose memory you’re asking). Their trunks have thickened up nicely, and they have the beginnings of gnarled spurs (the bits that bear the fruit). They are loaded with blossoms! This is all in thanks to Matt’s careful pruning and training. But getting apples is not easy. With diligent spraying of Surround, an organic clay-based barrier to keep out the evil curculio bug, we can coax a modest crop. Then, when squirrels haul our whole harvest up into the neighbor’s maple tree, we can dodge the cores as they’re hucked at us from above. None of this matters to me, though, because I am wholly sustained by beauty, and I do not need to eat food.
–Zoe Tilley Poster
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I am a gardener by profession and pastime. I write about the art of cultivation, nature, and other items which take a brief roost in my brain before fluttering out the exit ear and away on the wind. I like to draw pictures, too. zoetilleyposter(at)gmail.com