• fig tree, fan trained tree

    Tying up Plants

    15th March 2017Stephanie's BlogStephanie Donaldson

    Inspired by visits to other gardens where they practise the fine art of tying plants onto their supports before (rather than after) they start to put on new growth, I have been out subduing plants that will look better and be more manageable after this treatment.
    fig tree, fan trained tree

    First recipient of this attention was one of my figs.  Both Pashley Manor and Sissinghurst do a fine job of tying in their figs and I’m hoping that my relatively young tree will look equally good and throw less shade onto the border beneath.

    fig tree, fan trained tree

    Sissinghurst Fig

    fig tree, espalier

    My Fig

    And here’s the one in Daniel’s garden – it’s work in progress.

    Also while I was at Sissinghurst, I took a close look at the magnolia grandiflora  that spreads across the face of the brickwork in the top courtyard and discovered that the branches were discreetly tied to one another to keep them quite flat to the wall. It took a bit of muscle power and persuasion, but that’s another job done.

    close up of magnolia

    Sissinghurst Magnolia grandifolia

    magnolia grandifolia, espalier

    My magnolia grandiflora

    Finally, the cultivated blackberry that grows at the back of the greenhouse has been supported in a rather ad hoc fashion and picking the fruit has involved lacerating my arms more than should be necessary. (Why didn’t I buy a thornless variety I frequently ask myself?)  I don’t want a permanent structure as that would involve sinking posts and as it is a sheltered spot I’ve come up with the solution of propping a couple of pieces of sturdy trellis against the greenhouse eaves.  The blackberries are now tied in, cover a larger area and should prove far easier to pick. I do enjoy finding solutions that don’t involve waiting for someone else to do it. plant supports