Wa Alley–pot espaliers & cattails

In Provincetown, by far, out favorite spot was the store Wa. Wa is Japanese for harmony. And there isn't anything much more harmonious than the Asian-inspired garden alley alongside the store leading to their formal garden.

Apple espaliers in pots–in pots!

There were some great ideas along the long, square stone path. The first of which we noticed was the apple tree espalier growing along the fence–the trees were growing in pots! Not only that, they were in pots, in the pots. Not sure how long they've been growing there. Also not sure how cold it gets there in the winter. Not sure I could do something like this here in Buffalo. I am partial to espaliers, having a couple of my own, and was intrigued by this method.

Planted in sort of every-day, regular window box type planters, set below grade keep the water & planters hidden from view.

Even with the espaliers stealing most of the attention, on the other side of the narrow walk were cattails. Upon closer inspection, the cattails were growing in long, narrow planters filled with water. The planters were set below the level of the walk, so you couldn't see them. I assume there is an automatic watering system set up–I forgot to look and see if there was. These made a great simple graphic planting along a wall where you would never normally see cattails.


  1. Both look very creative Jim! Thanks for sharing this with us.

  2. what a great use of a narrow space! i've been to wa before, it's one of my fav places on the cape.

  3. How very cool. Do you think the cattails will overwinter in those containers?

  4. Pam,
    It's what I do.

    It is a cool store. Very urban, very earthy.

    Not sure, I've never seen cattails in any setting other than in the wild, or in s controlled setting of a pond. I suppose they would. They over winter in the wild with shallow roots.

  5. Gardeners'imagination is endless. Who could get such idea - espaliers in pots!

  6. The espaliers must overwinter for them, otherwise the heartbreak after all that time and effort (of course, that is just a normal, everyday thing for gardeners).

  7. Tatyana,
    You don't have to tell me. Once I think I've seen everything, I see something I never thought of.

    I figure they have to over winter them too, but how can they maintain any form? They must be fairly delicate–almost too delicate to move much. And a lot of work to move around!

  8. Love seeing people come up with interesting ideas for narrow spaces. The cattails are particularly clever.


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