Join Peter as he takes you on a tour of River Road Farms in Decatur, TN.
Peter talks in depth about the art of espalier.
Grumpy just returned from giving a talk at the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky. These are the Olympics of the horse world. Royalty from all over the world jet in with their steeds to compete for glory and to meet me. Fifty thousand commoners a day also show up. This is the first time WEG has been held in the U.S. (thanks to those snobby European horse people) and it concludes October 10.
I was invited to speak by famed Kentucky garden designer Jon Carloftis, who not only designs private gardens in Kentucky, but also does rooftop gardens for people in Manhattan who have more money than Bernie Madoff stole. Jon and his partner, Dale Fisher, worked liked dogs for weeks setting up this incredible potting shed and vegetable garden exhibit for the WEG. Here are some pix.
You don’t have to be a master gardener to appreciate—and enjoy—the ancient craft of espalier.
It’s a centuries-old horticultural technique with roots as far back as ancient Egypt. There, through faded tomb paintings of fig trees planted and flattened against sun-drenched stone walls, evidence suggests that espalier (ess-PAL’-yay) had a place in the garden.
Later refined by French monks in the late 1600s, this art of pruning and training trees and deciduous shrubs into stylized, flat patterns is as relevant to today’s green thumbs as it was back then. That’s because espalier offers a number of rewards that 21st-century gardeners can reap.
No one understands the benefits— and beauty —of espalier more than Peter Thevenot, owner of River Road Farms in Decatur, Tennessee. He tends to approximately 3,200 of these living works of art at all times. Thevenot’s intense passion for espalier began some 16 years ago after a visit to the vegetable gardens at the historic Mount Vernon estate in Virginia.