Espalier – Yay!

Monet's Garden - Espalier

Monet’s Garden – Espalier by Hetx

The other day I came across a this pin on Pinterest that showed apples growing on little vertical trees in pots. This blows my mind, because while I’ve seen lemon and lime trees in pots… apples??  I can grow apples on my porch??  (Turns out that it’s probably too hot here, but I’m not dissuaded.)

This revelation inspired a huge Google tangent which now has me completely obsessed with the art of espalier (“es-PAL-yay”, for us non-French speakers).

It turns out that you can espalier many different trees in all kinds of patterns. From the somewhat ordinary-plant-shaped informal espalier to fancier trained shapes like the Belgian fence and u-cordons to complete works of art like the ones in the drawings at the bottom of this post.

I need to go to a nursery and see what can grow nicely in a pot in this climate, and then I think I’m going to give it a go. I love the idea of having my own fruit trees. And because they grow flat, it would be easy to cover with a net to keep the pests away.

Links for my future reference:
♥ The Fine Art of Espalier from Everything French GardeningPart 1, Part 2, Part 3 (that whole site is beautiful)
The Enduring Gardener
♥ Long but thorough article “How to Espalier Apple Trees

Someday I may graduate to the amazing world of arborsculpture, and I’ll make a chair, a bench, or a table… even a playground or a house!

A Clean House is a Happy House

I’m not normally one for resolutions at the beginning of the year. I think change needs to happen when a person is ready, and no calendar date is going to make that happen if the person isn’t ready to commit to it. My changes happen to fall at the beginning of the year, but mostly just because I ended 2012 in the poopiest of moods. My attitude was exhausting me, nevermind what it was doing to my husband.

We went on a 4-day retreat last week, and I read the first chapter of a book called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I had downloaded it here from my favourite stationary shop’s website. Something about it really spoke to me and the situation I was in. I’d been dealing with some long-distance family stuff coupled with my annual Thanksgiving-to-New-Year’s depression and general hatred of Australia. I was really just craving a little happiness again.

I know, for me, my space greatly affects my mood. I’m not a clean freak by any means. But what starts out as a couple letters on the table somehow turns into everything from the mailbox for the last three months, and I get completely crippled by the clutter and am unable to function enough to know how to begin getting out of it. As such, I am also recommitting to FlyLady to keep myself on the right track.

I don’t bother subscribing to all her emails. I’m still working up to her standards of water consumption and meal planning, but I do find her daily mission do-able. Having zones to focus on for each week makes me feel like I’m tackling something really good before moving on. And I know that if there’s something else to be done there, well, I’ll be back in a few weeks. The missions aren’t always very time consuming, and I can get it done before I relax for the evening.

You can always find her Sneak Peek for the Week here. I always add her missions to my own online calendar, and sometimes I juggle the missions around to fit my particular week.

In an effort to have something to look back on proudly, I’m just going to keep tabs of what I accomplish around the home. Sometimes I need a little gold star for motivation.

★ This Week in the Kitchen ★
1. Swept the ceiling and cleaned the nasty bugs out of the light fixture. (I should have taken before & after pics.)
2. Wiped down cabinets & knobs.
3. Anti-procrastination day: Ordered a replacement for our cracked fridge shelf.
4. Wiped down the benches.
5. Fixed the strainer body in the sink.