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From Gables to the Trellis Walls – Many Variants

More than a few of the large espalier walls still kept can be found on the type of house displayed on the right side. This type is seen in the villages of Saxony and Thuringia: A farm house with a gable facing the street with 1-2 floors and 3 vertical window arbours. This is how the idea came up, to collect and sort pictures of such trellis espaliers. They exemplary display how an espalier wall can be arranged: Starting with small, single espaliers in the lower area, growing higher, till the greening covers the whole wall with narrow or wide spacing between the laths.

Historical espalier-wall for grapevine on a farm in Sörnewitz / Saxony

The easiest possibility to cover such a gable with laths, are small espaliers with two bars between the lower windows. They can consist of 2 – 3, or even more laths as well. They can end at the upper or lower window borders, or even be “indented“ in order that the protruding vertical laths end with the window at the top, not the crossbars. On the bottom, the single fields can be connected by an espalier belt.

Planning a trellis, here: Königsfeld / Saxony
Trellis in Radebeul / Saxony
Small trellises near Wilschdorf / Saxony

If the greening is wished above the ground-floor windows, the espalier will be constructed correspondingly higher. The small single espaliers will be connected with a hiorizontal bar at top, or with an espalier belt. As the pictures show, the creative possibilities increase evermore, for instance with the arrangement of additional short crossbars above the wondows. But also the spacing of the vertical laths has an impact on the appearance. Broader spacings (30 – 45cm) though, are less beneficial for plants such as wine, than narrower spacings (22 – 25 cm). The latter though, require narrower lath cross sections (about 22 – 25 cm) for a delicate overall picture.

Trellis wall in Dresden / Saxony
Trellising near Jena-Zwätzen / Thuringia
Grapevine trellis in Maua near Jena / Thuringia
Greening in Maua near Jena / Thuringia

The greening above the ground-floor windows can be windened to a broad belt reaching up to the lower edge of the higher windows (see photo). Above the ground-floor windows oftentimes a continuous bar is built giving more stability to the long, continuous vertical laths. It also allows smaller, more delicate cross sections of 25 mm or less. It is also possible though, to set only single crossbars above the ground-floor windows, as displayed on some pictures.

Neichen / Saxony
Leonhardi-Museum in Dresden / Saxony
Graupe / Saxony
Trellis wall in Maua / Jena / Thuringia
Dresden / Saxony
Growth elements on the inn in Sörnewitz / Saxony (This place is a Mecca for grapevine freaks!)
Trellis in Sörnewitz / Saxony

Even higher espaliers are possible, if the upper crossbar is installed as close as possible underneath the upper floor windows, and the vertical laths get a large protrusion, in order that they distinctly reach into the wall areas between the windows (see photo on the right side).

Wall trellis in Bärnsdorf / Saxony
Trellis wall near Nünchritz / Saxony
Trellis in the Elbe Valley, Dresden / Saxony
Façade design in Sörnewitz / Saxony

A further enlargement of the espalier wall is doable, for example by having the vertical laths protrude even more into the upper window spaces. They then, need to be attached to a short, separate crossbar in every field (see photo). The espalier enlargement can also be achieved by a division of the upper, continuous crossbar into separate, short parts on two different heights, as the photos show.

Wall trellis in Pirna / Saxony
Near Wurzen / Saxony
Near Mutzschen / Saxony
Trellis for grapes near Saida / Saxony

Of course the espalier wall can be installed up till the upper edge of the second window row or even beyond that, as the pictures show. If two short laths are set on a crossbar above the second window row (preceding photo - Ossa / Saxony), the lath pieces need to be fastened by two offset screws on the bar, in order to achieve a sufficient rigidity … Another aspect though, determines if such high espaliers are reasonable: High greenings tend not to be maintained sufficiently, what would end in chaos in the case of vines. Normally, the espalier should only reach up to 4.5 - 5 meters above the ground.

Trellis system near Pillnitz / Saxony
Otterwisch / Saxony
Trellis in Niederau / Saxony
Trellis wall in Ossa / Saxony