My rock wall garden technically isn't in my yard. The pavement is a private way and technically owned by all the people that live on the road. But upkeep is the responsibility of the house in front of the area so I get to put whatever I want into it. And we are the last building (with two townhouses) on the road. My townhouse mates didn't want to deal with it, so it is all mine. I put my strawberries and espaliered fruit trees there.
The first tree in the row is an apple tree - Pink Lady. It is its first year and is growing slowly. Above is the second tree that is a persimmon. This one and the next one - a two in one plum tree (Redheart and Shiro) are also in their first year, but they aren't going to be really espaliered. I figure it is easier to let them grow more naturally. But they will be shaped to stay along the wall. I'm not really sure how to prune a persimmon. I'm going to have to look it up. But the plum is much like a peach and I have experience with that at least. I'm pretty sure I can make it do what I want. I hope.
My big problem comes with the older trees that were put in a couple of years ago. This is their third year. Above is my pear tree - Honey Sweet. I need one more rung of branches, but I've got no main trunk going up. When I cut the top off to get side branches only two started. I bent them both over to follow the wire. I was sure when spring came I would get more choices of branches. Pears really want to go up. But the only upward branch is four inches into the left branch. Or way down about eight inches on the trunk. I need an upward branch. So I need to make a decision. Do I cut these beautiful branches off to try to get a good upward branch? Or do I take the one that is four inches into the branch? Or do I take one that is about eight inches down and in the back of the current trunk? I'm pretty much a novice at pruning fruit trees. I never had any before I moved here.
My second issue was the next tree down which is a Liberty apple. With the heavy snow it bent the trunk a little over even though it was pretty well attached. One of the branches didn't move with it and broke off. It was still alive but was barely attached. I figured I couldn't leave it there as it wouldn't support much. Luckily there was a branch coming out the back. The bend isn't perfect, but my only other choice was to take a branch from father down and it would look very weird. Hopefully it will work well.
But good news on the espalier front is the first of the branches on the bottom row finally grew together. Whoot! A line of green all along. I pinched out the end of the branch where it met the other. I've been doing a lot of pinching and tying up of growing branches all spring long and I'll keep doing it. I go out about every two weeks for this chore. They grow quickly in the spring.
Though technically not an espalier and in the garden proper, I have my weeping Santa Rosa plum. Like the other plum in the wall garden, this one is going to be pruned to be a linear tree. It only has a depth of three feet from the wall to the main garden path. It really wants to lean against the side of the house. And it was listing over to the side. So I shored up its support. The trunk of the tree is very thin and not strong at all. Hopefully it will get thicker quickly. This tree was planted last year.
And in sad news the groundhog found a way into the garden. He ate some lettuce and the beans. I'm pretty sure I know where he got in. When the fence was put in it was put about a foot in front of the corner of the house and there is a small gap between the fence and the trim of my front stairs. I've added more cobblestones to that corner. And I've draped some netting over the fence itself. I don't think he can climb it but if he tries I'll know because he will pull it off. And I checked carefully for digging, but couldn't see any signs of that. Honestly that is usually how a groundhog gets in.
Only two bean plants were left from the groundhog gorging. Some may or may not grow back. Sadly I only had four more Golden Gate bean seeds which I planted. So I might get to harvest beans. Maybe. If the groundhog doesn't make it in again. Now I don't eat beans. But I love seeing them grow so I decided to grow them for my townhouse mates. Hmm maybe I have a different variety in my basement. Well if these get eaten too, I'll go look.