Creating a Life of Plenty

Building the Fourth Wall (Part One)

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No, I am not talking about an acting technique (drama is so tired), I am talking about building a fourth wall to the vegetable garden!

I am attempting to do a similar technique to create a “fourth wall” around my jardin potager. Classically, the French kitchen garden (jardin potager) is an enclosed space. In my garden the fence on two sides and the garage on one side provide three of the four walls. For the fourth wall, I wanted something that would be productive and alive and blend well with the yard.

I researched several options and finally chose to create the fourth wall with trellises and espaliered fruit trees. Some of you may recall the post recently about ordering fruit trees. Well those trees will be arriving in a couple of weeks so I needed to get the trellising built.

Creating an espaliered tree wall takes several steps. For those who don’t know, Espalier is the horticultural technique of training trees through pruning and grafting in order to create formal “two-dimensional” or single plane patterns by the branches of the tree. The technique was popular in the Middle Ages in Europe to produce fruit inside the walls of a typical castle courtyard without interfering with the open space, and to decorate solid walls by such trees planted near them.

We debated on material (cedar, pressure treated lumber, iron, metal) for a while as well as design. Then on a recent shopping trip to the soon to be closed Smith and Hawkin in our area, I came across modular trellises. The design was beatiful, simple and a touch modern. I like the juxtaposition of styles it would create. Once purchased, the task was to build them! More on that in the next few posts!

Happy Gardening!

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