What could be nicer than a walk on a glorious day in spring on the coastal path from Canebières (just outside St Tropez) to Plage des Salins. From Plage des Salins, turning inland, it’s just 30 minutes back to St Tropez.
On the walk we passed these pleached plane trees, Platanus x hybrida.
It’s not a bad idea in our climate to pleach two trees together to get some more shade. The time to do it, is when the branches are young and pliable. Select the branches that are at the right height and position on both trees to make the link.
Link the two part together with some wire, fasten the branches to the wire and wait till they grow to the required length. You might find you’ll have to hang some weights from the branches to make them dip a bit.
Once the branches of the two trees have met, you graft them together by making an incision under a leaf node on one of the trees, about two inches long. The branch of the other tree you whittle down to a narrow wedge, two inches long as well. The idea is that they fit snugly together.
Use your knife to open up the incision you’ve made, slide them together. Coat the graft with wound dressing and wrap it completely in rubberised electrician’s tape to protect the graft against water, insects etc whilst it grows.
All along the coastal path we found this very pretty crocus-like bulb. The colour was deeper in real life. The name of this beauty is Romulea bulbocodium.
[Bibliography : RHS – Pruning & Training; eHow – How to Graft Fruit Tree Limbs]