Espalier is an ancient practice of controlling woody plant growth for the production of fruit, by pruning and tying branches to a wire support. A French name which comes from Italian “spalliera” (to support or lean on).
Espaliered fences are becoming popular in residential areas limited to spaces, community gardens, driveways and the like. We’ve been wanting to cover a fence that is the first thing you see when you enter our front yard, it’s a great way to take the focus off a boring space and let’s face it, they look pretty cool!
We were on the hunt for a smart system that we could use for so long, then we stumbled upon Lock Jaw who was also a local business to New Zealand. When you research espalier there are usually four types that are popular:
We decided to choose diamond as that would cover up most of the fence we wanted to hide when fully trained and looks super slick!
You can watch our video for install instructions here!
The tools you need are:
- Power drill (we use Ryobi)
- Tek screw drill bit
- Measuring tape and pencil
- Wire and snips
The install is surprisingly easy if you have a straightforward fence to drill in to. Lock Jaw makes the install super easy with guides on their website. We followed the pattern that they had on the box when threading the wire which took all of 1 minute!The only thing you really need to know is to keep the distance between each gap the same when making the diamond kit, that way your diamonds will turn out even!
We went down to Oderings to buy our climbers, Georgia and I were very happy with the selection of climbers they had and the young guy helping us out knew his stuff! We decided that we didn’t want to wait a year or so to start seeing real growth so chose the Potato Vine which in the Nightshade family and they were already really long to begin with. When planting we gave them lots of compost in the hole and then gently wrapped them around the wires. When finished we soaked them with water to give them a strong start.
We are very excited to see the espalier kit next year after a good 6 months growth! It’s better than we imagined and has added so much to that first glimpse of our front yard. Now for the rest of the yard!
You can buy the Lock Jaw Kit here: