Garden Trellis Design In The Landscape


A garden trellis design can be used in a variety of ways and places in the landscape.

A trellis can be used on a blank wall, as an overhead structure similar to an outdoor pergola, or can serve as sides to an arbor which has some depth to it.

There are also many types of materials to choose from. There are a variety of metals and woods which will work very well.



Wall Trellis

Using a trellis on a blank wall is a creative way to make that wall interesting. Perhaps you have a section of your house that has no doors or windows and is rather boring. An outdoor trellis is a great solution. It provides interest by creating a detailed focal point.

By installing a planting bed at the base of the trellis, you can plant interesting vines. Flowering vine plants can provide softness, texture, greenery and color. Now, not only do you have a nice architectural element, but also plant material growing vertically.

A garden trellis design on a wall can be made of a variety of materials. It can be either metal or wood.

Aluminum needs no upkeep. It is light in weight and looks like iron. Typically it is black. Copper is another choice. Copper weathers to a beautiful patina over time. Be careful to choose a metal that will not rust.

When choosing a wooden garden trellis, keep in mind that you most likely will not be staining it as the vines will make that difficult. Cedar is long lasting and insect resistant.



Overhead Trellis Designs

As mentioned above, a wood trellis can also be used as an overhead structure. It is similar to a garden pergola, except that a garden trellis design is usually more simple. The columns are usually simple posts and there is not a lot of detail work. Please visit my page on the outdoor pergola to read more about this type of garden structure.

That does not mean that it still can't be a nice outdoor structure to include in your design. It does provide shade and actually that is usually its main function. It also offers interesting garden architecture.

As an overhead structure, a trellis should be sized to accommodate your furniture. You might want lounges to be under it so that you can sit in the shade, or you might like your outdoor dining table and chairs to be under it. Perhaps you want everything to be in the shade.

The minimum space for a dining table and chairs is fifteen feet in both directions. For lounges, ten feet in depth is needed. Consider the space around the furniture for access to other areas.



Arbors and Trellis

An arched trellis is a type of arbor. It can just be an arch or it can have sides that are deep, such as 2 to 3 feet. Flowering vine plants look great growing over it and up the sides. The deeper the arbor, the more dramatic the vines will be.

These landscape structures can be made of wood, aluminum or iron. Think of the upkeep of the material, particularly if you grow vines on it. Each garden trellis design has its own maintenance issues. For an arched trellis, think about the following.

  • Aluminum needs little maintenance and the arbor can be left alone.
  • Iron will most likely rust and need painting...removing the plants is not easy. It also disrupts the years of growth that have been established on the structure. However, old iron arbors, especially antiques ones, can add a certain look.
  • A wooden arched arbor can be left alone to weather, although it will not retain its original color unless you stain it.

There are also PVC structures you can buy. It just depends if you want a more natural element as part of your garden. 



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"Susan,  what a pleasure it was to work with you.  You made me feel like I was your only client - responding late at night and always so quickly!  Your design is amazing and we only hope we can do justice to it when we plant.  You have such fantastic ideas and you are so open to suggestions and changes.  Loved working with you - now if you could only come to Canada and plant it!!!"
Helen, Ontario-Canada 

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