Based on an example we saw in Colonial Williamsburg, we planted an apple arbor here at Fayrehale. The greatest feature is the close planting of trees. Remember we are working on .6 acres (notice the point) on the edge of a picturesque Vermont village! Or arbor consists of 32 semi-dwarf apple trees (2 each of 16 varieties). We did the high number of varieties because apple trees produce in cycles having off and on years with regards to production. We figure this system will always give enough apples for two people!
Starting in 2005 we staked out the design. We wanted the apple arbor to be both a fruit producer and an architectural garden feature creating a pleasant transition from one garden room to another. We purchased the trees from E.C.Browns’ Nursery here in Vermont and had them do the planting. (Wedding Present from Tom’s Mother) The main run is shown above. Stakes (and thus trees) are 3′ apart and space between rows is 8′ wide. There are three side “entrances”. One on the left (goes to the raised bed vegetable garden) and two on the right (one goes to a small sitting area and the other to the small hoop poultry breeding pens.
Trees planted. This image shows one of the two back “entrances” . Looking at the upper left you can see the “entrance” to and from the raised bed vegetable garden which has not been created yet!
Time passes and the trees grow. The curved metal arches are temporary “training” fixtures I used to wrap graft the trees into the arch. The black metal arbor is at the entrance from the backyard. It needs to be leveled and then we have flag stones to lay for a floor. We will lay clear plexi across the center top over where a table and chairs will be placed. There will be an old wood stove off to the left for evening fires. There are grapes planted on the left columns . In the distance one of several sculpture by Alex Kovacs, an artist we admire for modern work.
As you can see from the lead picture, I have pruning to do. Need to get out and get it done soon. Will try to accomplish it myself. If I am not successful I will call in our area apple expert Todd Parlo, who developed, owns and runs Walden Heights Nursery & Orchard