Since the gardens of ancient Rome and Babylon, trellises have been used as an important element of design and function. Throughout the centuries, they have guided the control of otherwise reckless, sprawling plants while creating vertical interest to a garden.
For me, the garden is a sanctuary for peace and meditation in the morning and reflection and relaxation in the evening. Does your garden reflect the kind of sanctuary you want it to be? Depending on the size of your garden or any part of your landscape, a trellis can become your unique conversation piece, your personal touch to your garden. With three main designs, you can achieve a stunning effect.
A flat trellis, also called a wall panel, can support thick climbing plants. It can also be used to define a space or provide a sense of privacy. It comes freestanding and can be placed in a special spot for a focal point or anchored to a wall, fence, or post, making it more permanently located. Examples of a flat trellis would include lattice panels, metalwork design trellises, and plastic mesh. The designs for this type of trellis are endless and can be bought assembled or in a kit for you to design and assemble yourself.
The obelisk is a three-dimensional trellis usually used in a larger landscape design because of its statuesque features. These dramatic pieces are pyramid shaped, of every design, style, and size to fit the needs of the plant you choose to train. They come in wood, such as cedar or redwood, but are especially popular in cast iron for a stunning, permanent position in your landscape.
The planter box design is perfect for decks or windows. It consists of a planter box at the base of the trellis for soil while your more delicate vines grow up a panel, obelisk, or ladder. This is also ideal for a small area, such as a balcony or lawn.
Be sure to match your climbing plants with the best kind of trellis. Remember that plants have different climbing methods. For example, morning glory wrap, trumpet vines are heavy and can grow as high as 8 feet tall, while coral vine is a fast grower and perfect for the flat trellis. Consider, too, if the trellis itself will be a design feature or serve as support for the plant you want to show off. Do you want to screen off a view to some unsightly area, define a boundary, or use it for a serious job like supporting those huge tomato plants in your garden this year? For more information about which types of plants work best with which types of trellises, check out Know Your Climbers.
Whatever your preference for a trellis, placing it in the right area will add to the effect you are looking for in your garden sanctuary. Be sure to look at our other articles for more landscaping ideas.
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