This week my orchard was delivered and half of my order from gurneys.com also came in. I was planning on planting the trees yesterday but decided to focus on the interior of house first. Also, I was planning on dropping Isaac off at birthday party but that became an issue due to lack of parental supervision so I hung out for most of a 3 hour period. That threw a wrench in my schedule as well. Moving on though, my plan is to get the trees into the ground today. It’s even colder out today, but I can survive.
After getting word from UPS that my orchard had shipped, I realized I finally had to start planning where to plant. This became exciting but also a burden because I realized I wanted to do something more involved than what I had originally thought. I started to research espalier designs and I fell in love. I have always been delighted to see a well designed landscape but often a yard that focuses on producing food isn’t as beautifully manicured as a flower garden. That is fine but it doesn’t mean that edible landscaping can’t be gorgeous as well.
These drawings are from “Espaliers and Vines For The Home Gardener” by Harold O. Perkins. They were re-purposed from a great blog call the Urban Ton Project. They are taking their backyard and trying to grow a literal ton of food in one year. Pretty amazing stuff. They ordered a crazy amount of trees and had an ambitious plan to create a fence out of trees along one side of property. They have a whole series of posts chronicling their process that are a fun and informative read. I have my fences up and don’t want to get rid of them for privacy reasons but I am planning on planting many of my trees along the eastern side of my yard. I also want to put some trees or grape vines in front of the herb garden to break up the yard into sections visually. I have a general idea of what I am doing but my plan on what type of actual tree design I will follow might change over time. As long as I leave some space, I could use a variety of different options. I’m basically looking for the design that will give the largest harvest from the trees. Some designs require having less branches than others so it seems those would have a more moderate production potential. I really like the beligan fence but I think that would fall into the category. I’m leaning towards the cordons, palmettes or informal fan.
I’m basically obsessed with finding pictures of these designs so I can get an idea of what they look like when grown and fruiting. Early American Garden Blog had a nice post with tons of images that I drool over. I did realize what when I got my trees I had never purchased blueberry bushes like I thought and I still need strawberries so it looks like I have one more order to place for the season. It’s all worth it though.