This word, first used in the mid-17th Century, refers to the horticultural technique that involves pruning a plant and tying its branches to a frame. Often, these plants are flat against walls, providing a method for gardening in limited space or to maximize sunlight. It has origins in Late Latin – “spatula” (shoulder blade), which evolved through Italian “spalla” (shoulder) before the French adopted “espalier”.
Word Archaeology: espalier
February 2, 2021