A wall-mounted greenhouse and a variety of espalier trees will be placed along the 90-metre-long, newly built espalier wall in Huis Landfort’s vegetable garden. In the 19th century, espalier trees were common on country estates and they emerged as a counterpart to the standard tree orchard. In those days almost every farm had a standard orchard, but espalier fruit trees were mainly destined for the gardens of castles and country estates. Yet some farmers also planted espaliers on their farms. Espalier trees virtually disappeared in the 20th century due to the arrival of other fruit varieties and the introduction of low-stemmed fruit trees.
Expert gardeners trained and pruned espalier trees into the most wonderful shapes. Thanks to intensive pruning, the trees could grow into a fan shape, a candlestick or a long string. Sometimes they were shaped into a fence or hedge alongside a number of fruit trees. Pear trees were often trained along an arch to create a type of tunnel, which is also called a berceau. You can find these at various old country estates in the Netherlands and we will also create a berceau in the orchard at Huis Landfort.
When selecting the fruit trees to be planted, the foundation will opt for medium-height and low-growing standard trees. In addition to historic apple and pear varieties, other trees such as mulberries, medlars, quinces, peaches, plums and cherries will be planted against the espalier wall and in the standard orchard. The selected varieties have traditionally been common at castles, historic country estates and manors, or have a connection with them in some other way. This is how we illustrate the history and connection with other country estates in the Netherlands in our orchard.