Garden Trellises

Walk through a gate of roses

Your garden's gateway is the first thing that visitors will see when they come into your outdoor abode. Trellises are structures that allow for movement into different parts of the garden; they also provide a climber for your vines and other climbing plants on any garden wall or even freestanding in the middle of your yard.

Trellises have an element of magic about them that can lead you to imagine that you're entering a different world (such as in the Secret Garden ). More practically, a trellis organizes your garden into sections of paradise.

A trellis allows support for climbing plants, like roses, morning glories and ivy. They add some privacy to a backyard or balcony and are traditionally made in a wooden lattice pattern. They work excellently as a divider for different parts of your yard and add an air of romance to a lovely garden. On wedding cards and other paraphernalia, you will often see a couple lovingly embracing under a rose-covered trellis.

Bamboo trellises are easy to make yourself and climbing plants love them. Bamboo is a very strong and long-lasting wood, but will deteriorate quickly if in direct contact with the soil. To protect your bamboo trellis for the winter, you can mount it on hardwood stilts to get it out of the frozen water runoff.

For a more romantic Victorian look (and especially if you have a certain theme running through your garden decor), you can get an intricately molded wrought-iron or powder-coated steel trellis. These designs are normally quite ornate, so planting a lighter-leafed plant will allow the artwork to shine through. These trellises do nicely as walls for an enclosure or as part of a gazebo or gate.

You can set up your trellis by sinking it into the ground or leaning it up against a wall. If you are planning to use them for garden gates, they'll require two large hardwood posts on either side to keep it steady. You can include a trellis as part of a fence or gate if you don't have the room to set one up in your yard. They can also be used with arbors, for a small shady enclave in your garden where you can sit and reflect under the trees.

Whatever use you give your trellis, you'll always have the sense of walking through to your own piece of heaven. You can even build a trellis playhouse for your children and watch them make their fairy tales come true.

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