Another Belgian Fence (Maybe) - Defining the Patio Space, Entrance and Screening
a Belgian Fence espalier that sits on the side of the Main Street USA train station at Disneyland Park in California and mentioned that I can learn something about spacing by looking at how they put their (non-tree) Belgian fence together to get a 4-wide x 2-tall diamond pattern. I also posted earlier this month a 'progress shot' of my mixed apple (fruit and crab) Belgian Fence that is in the second growing season.
I was recently reading this piece on espalier design and usage where I came across this little note that made me think (again) about a second Belgian Fence. From the post:
"Consider using a Belgian Fence to create outdoor rooms. Their design will impress year-round and provide a wall-like privacy when in bloom. During the holidays, they are prime candidates for Christmas lights."
What's that you say?
Outdoor room. Hmmm....Interesting.
Privacy wall. Tell me more.
I've spent the better part of the past four years thinking about what to do around our patio in back. I've talked about adding some beds around the corners with structure of boxwoods. Dreamed about adding a stock tank pond. And a REAL pond and waterfall that wraps around the patio. Twice. Saved down this stairs/waterfall combo a few years back. And I even tried to think about/plan some new trees in/around the patio.
But, I never really considered another Belgian Fence. Until now.
See that little photo at the top of this post? Here, below, is a larger version of the same photo. It shows the part of the lawn that runs up to the north edge of the patio. It also shows a couple of flagstone steppers that provides the path from the side of the house.
In the photo, you can see we (currently) have a raised vegetable bed and a storage box just taking up space here. Out of frame and along the fence is the row of eight Frans Fontaine columnar European Hornbeam trees that provide our screening from our neighbor to the north. I posted a Spring leaf-out photo of the trees and noted (in that post) how there are a few gaps that are still needing to be closed up. The Hornbeams provide a sense of privacy, but they don't provide a sense of the patio being a 'room'. It is more like a pedestal.
A Belgian Fence, planted along the edge of the patio *would* provide that sense of an outdoor 'room'. There's 12 feet from the little bump out to the corner of the patio. Four feet for the stairs. And four feet between the house and stairs area.
Here's the area that I'm talking about below. Red is the the row of (potential) espalier'd trees. Green box is the new bed that would be created. Blue ovals are some under-planted shrubs that could go in.
Putting up a row here gets us all three of the things that I mentioned above. Outdoor room. Privacy. Christmas lights. These are visible from inside the house - so we'd get full-year appreciation from them.
One of the issues that I would need to consider is spacing. I commented that my current Belgian Fence - at 24" spacing - might be too tight for the location it is in currently. But, if I wanted to create that sense of privacy, would I want to spread them out more? I'm not sure.
Remaining at 24" spacing, I would need nine trees to complete both sides of the walkway Belgian Fence. See below. Tree plantings in purple. Why would I want to plant both sides? I mean...isn't it obvious? So I can 'connect them' ABOVE the entrance to the patio and sort of create a 'door'.
This feels like it belongs in a bunch of categories. 2022 to-do list? Sure. Backyard dreaming? Yes. Garden dreaming? Yes. Patio. Yes. Belgian fence? Of course.
I suppose I'll have to stack this up against the other priorities that emerge over the next six or seven months. And, just hope that I wander into a sweet deal where I can buy nine trees that I love for a song.