Sunday, December 27, 2009
The holiday season is a time when you may hear an awful lot of singing about Pear Trees. With Partridges in them. I don't know why. There are conflicting stories about the origins of the Twelve Days of Christmas, and I don't want to join the debate.
But I do want to share my discovery of an espaliered Pear tree that lives in the glorious Cloisters in Manhattan. What, you may ask, is an espaliered tree? Well, I've just now learned that to espalier is to train a tree (generally a fruit tree, it seems) to grow in a pattern or shape, flat against a wall or lattice. A 2-D tree! Basically this might be perfect for my future Brooklyn garden. But it also seems to have been rather popular in medieval times. In any case, the Cloisters is a wonderful secret haven in northern Manhattan that is a home to amazing medieval European art and architecture. And trees. The gardens are not particularly big, but they are immensely charming and satisfying. And peaceful. Oh, to be a monk. And there are pear trees. Also, you can follow the Cloisters Garden blog here.