By Erin Marissa Russell
Wondering how you can use trellis creatively in the garden? One of the easiest ways to add vertical interest or a structural element to the garden is to add some trellis. Trellis is a cost-effective way to maximize your growing space and change the look of your yard, while at the same time giving plants a new surface to climb on. Check out these ideas for ways to use trellis to see what you can do.
Build a Trellis Teepee for Beans or Cucumbers
All you need are some sticks or bamboo branches and some strong twine to build a netted trellis teepee that beans or cucumbers can climb on. Space out the branches or sticks vertically and lean them all together into a teepee shape. Then tie the twine horizontally, securing it around each branch. Plant the beans or cucumbers at the bottom, and as you care for them, they’ll gradually spread higher up the trellis teepee.
Set Up an Arched Trellis Tunnel
An arched tunnel is a great way to add some whimsy to your garden, and trellis is the perfect material to use when setting up your arch. Plant gourds, grapes, or beans next to the arched tunnel to watch them climb over its surfaces, creating a living archway made of plants.
Rows of Bamboo Pole Trellis Can Stake Delicate Plants
When you have whole rows of plants that need staking, you can depend on a bamboo pole trellis to give them the hand they need to grow strong. Simply drive the bamboo branches into the ground on opposite sides of the row that needs support, crossing them over each other at the top in an X formation. Add long, horizontal bamboo branches at the top of the X and along each side. Then use strong twine to create additional supports that run between the top and side horizontal branches. Bamboo is lightweight, easy to use, and as many gardeners know, if it’s growing in your yard, you’ll need to cut it back eventually no matter what since it spreads so prolifically. Why not put it to use elsewhere in the garden?
Use Trellis Behind Box Planters for Visual Interest
When you’re adding box planters, or simply box-shaped garden plots, to your yard design, consider using trellis at the back of these areas. Set the trellis into the back of the box planter, or create a space for it behind your new garden bed, and your tall or climbing plants will have plenty of support. You’ll get way more growing space out of the new area with this simple addition.
Prop Trellis Into an A-Frame Shape for Climbing Flowers or Veggies
With two pieces of trellis leaned together at the top, you can create a triangular space where flowers or veggies that need to climb can explore. Better yet, it’s simple to set up. Just lean the two pieces of trellis together, tie them securely at the top, and drive the bottom ends of the trellis into the ground where desired. This structure is perfect for supporting flowering vines, beans or peas, cucumbers, gourds, and even tomatoes.
Go Primitive with Branched Trellis for Containers
If you have a container plant that could use some support, a branched trellis is easy to install, and it has a more natural look than trellis you’d buy from the store. Start with the container full of potting soil, and gather several branches of about the same length. Insert the branches into the container around its edges, then weave some smaller branches horizontally through these vertical slats. Your container plant will have plenty of vertical room to climb and grow.
Use Panels of Trellis to Create a Privacy Screen
Trellis isn’t just for staking plants that need support. With large panels of trellis strategically placed in your garden, you can create a privacy screen that may help you bypass HOA guidelines about the types of fences you are allowed to use. Cedar wood is the best option to support these large trellis panels with in the garden. Plant some climbing flowers or vegetables next to your new privacy screens, and as they grow, your garden will feel less and less open to perusal from nosy neighbors. If you’re mindful about where the privacy screens are placed, you can block an entertaining area from outside viewing or hide a part of the view from your yard that isn’t attractive, like a nearby street or parking lot.
Make Use of an Old Clothesline to Build a Twine Trellis
Do you have an old clothesline in your yard that’s sitting unused? Repurpose it to create a twine trellis that can prop up lots of plants. Simply run the twine from spots near the ground up around the clothesline and back down to give your plants something to climb on.
Let Wire Mesh Stand in for Trellis to Create a Tunnel or Arch
It’s not the prettiest solution when it’s new, but a wire mesh trellis can be just as beautiful as other trellis options once your plants begin to grow along the surface. Wire mesh is an affordable way to get the look of some of the more involved trellis structures, such as tunnels and arches. Plant dense creepers near your wire mesh trellis for maximum coverage.
Make Trellis Do Double Duty as a Fence
Building your fence out of trellis kills two birds with one stone. Not only are you left with an attractive and functional fence, you’ve also created a large area that can support lots of climbing plants. Just take care not to let the gate section of your fence become overgrown with vines from your plants, or you might have trouble opening and closing it. A shorter trellis at the edges of the garden creates an attractive border fence for that area, too.
Don’t Let an Ugly Wall Be an Eyesore—Hide It With Trellis
Place a freestanding trellis in front of the wall of a building or wall you’d like to hide. Once it’s planted with climbing flowers or vegetables, you’re well on your way to hiding the eyesore, whatever it may be. Better yet, trellis is a temporary solution, so you won’t be in trouble with the landlord or infringe on a neighbor’s property (if it’s their wall you’re looking to hide).
Frame Outbuildings With Trellis for Country Chic
Speaking of eyesores, if you’re unhappy with the look of your property’s sheds, storage buildings, or other structures—or if you’re just searching for a new look—trellis can come to the rescue. Simply set up the trellis along the walls or around the front of your outbuildings, being careful not to block their doors and windows from opening. Plant some climbers next to the trellis, and your outbuildings will have a new look before you know it.
Camouflage an AC Unit with Trellis Screens
Trellis is a great way to dress up more than just outbuildings on your property. If your AC unit sticks out when you gaze over your garden, some trellis is a great way to screen it off with a lush, natural wall of climbing plants. Just set the trellis panels up to block the AC unit from view, then plant your favorite climber next to it, to set things in motion.
There are so many ways to use trellis in the garden, we won’t tell if you decide to stock up before choosing exactly how you’ll use this structural marvel. Once you’ve set up your trellis, all you’ll have left to do is plant climbing flowers or vegetables near them to get started. Head this way for our gardening tips for plants that climb so you can make the most of your efforts.