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A Guide To Using Trellises In The Garden

A Guide To Using Trellises In The Garden


  • Choose supports that are sturdy enough for the vines you want to plant. Supports should be made of weatherproof materials (such as galvanized or powder-coated steel, painted or treated wood), especially if you are planting a perennial vine.

  • Also think about whether you want the support — as well as the plant — to be a decorative garden feature, or if the support’s only job is to show off the plant. Decorative plant supports can serve as interesting focal points in the garden (arbors marking an entryway, an obelisk marking the end of a pathway), or can provide a sense of enclosure by screening views and/or delineating boundaries (fences, trellis panels, walls, pergolas).

Arches: These structures can add distinctive flair to your garden, no matter what the season. Design and placement are critical. Spend some time in your garden determining what style and scale structure would be compatible with your house and landscape. These structures are most often made of wood, which can be painted or stained to resist the elements. Steel and plastic versions are also available, and are a smart choice if the style suits your garden.

 Flat trellises: These are often used to define a space or provide a sense of privacy. They may be freestanding, or can be anchored to a wall or posts. Sometimes permanently located, they are also relatively easy to move around the garden if you want to try out different effects. Examples of flat trellises would be wood lattice panels, metal trellises of various kinds, and those made of plastic mesh.

A freestanding trellis creates a focal point in a garden.

Obelisks, tripods and teepees: Both functional and decorative, these structures add a strong vertical element that can serve as a focal point in the garden. Like exclamation points, they’re most effective when not overused. Make sure the structure is tall enough to support the type of plant you want to grow. Scarlet runner beans and vigorous varieties of morning glories, for instance, want a support that’s 8 to 10 feet tall; they’ll quickly overpower a 4-foot tripod. Bamboo canes make inexpensive and attractive teepees for the vegetable garden. Read More at


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