Home > Gardening, Living in Italy, Seasons > Stirrer in a wine glass

Stirrer in a wine glass

The first bud to open

The first leaf bud to open

Pruning a tree, I find, is all-consuming. I walk round it, trying to see how to give it balance and grace.

In Italy, pretty much all fruit trees are trained to the wine glass shape, variously described also as vase, goblet, or open centre shaped.

It’s a truly lovely shape, as well as being practical for the tree (allowing light and air to pass through) and for fruit-picking.

The Reinette du Canada apple tree in the picture has a long trunk and ambitions to be tall, but year by year it’s being made more wine glass shaped and accessible.

It has a defiant air, though, somewhat accentuated by the little tuft of leaves – unique in the whole orchard at this time – sticking up above the rest of the tree like a flag. Or a stirrer in a wine glass!

It got trimmed, of course.

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