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Enchanting Wall Trellises

Trellises give focus, emphasis, and vertical interest to the overall landscape. They can break up the open space of your yard and make large spaces more intimate. They can accentuate desirable aspects within the yard. They can provide privacy in a relatively short period of time (with a fast growing climber). Adding a trellis to your yard is a perfect way to create charm and ambiance. Climbing vines are not only a beautiful addition to your home, they also have an insulating quality when placed against the house.

In the same token, attaching a trellis to your roof or exterior walls not only adds beauty, it also can hide a multitude of sins or cover a long blank wall where no windows exist. Add rose covered trellises over a long walkway to add shade and heavenly scents to your garden. Adjoin a trellis to your storage shed to blend in with your natural landscape. With a trellis, there’s very little training of the climber, just plant and watch it do its twisting and climbing.

There are many places you can use a trellis on your home and in your garden. And the plant support structures come in many styles and materials to accommodate different types of climbing plants. This particular article topic is focused on wall trellises. A trellis is a structure to support climbing plants and is usually made of wood, iron, metal, bamboo, string, or wire, and can be painted or stained to suit your style and scheme.

Creative trellis ideas

  • Dress up the side of your garage. Instead of a boring wall with perhaps one window, make it green, make it come alive with beautiful flowers.
  • Carport trellis. Build a trellis on the open ends of the carport and plant your favorite vines to provide shade for your car.
  • As a frame for a wall fountain. Form a lattice trellis around a wall fountain to create a feeling of old world charm.
  • Build a trellis along your fence as a backdrop for a water fountain, statue, or bird bath. Grow rambling roses on the trellis for brilliant and rich contrast.
  • Extend your privacy by building a trellis on top of your current fencing or walls (see below link titled “Removable trellis”).
  • Hide the garbage cans, air conditioning unit, or pool filter system by building a trellis around these backyard eyesores. Plant honeysuckle or jasmine vines for the sweet fragrance they provide – this will help with the garbage can odor.
  • Grow an espalier. Train a fig tree, an apple tree or a pyracantha to grow in a flat plane against your trellis for an Old World look. This is very effective when you have a big blank wall to hide and you want something unique. Espaliers can be formal or informal and can be grown from trees, shrubs, or vines. You can train your espalier on wire arches bolted into the wall. This is a very easy trellis to make; however, there are different designs for different plants so make sure you show a nursery a picture of your trellis before buying your plant to make sure they’ll be compatible. See the link below titled “Espalier” for more in depth coverage.

Climbing plants suitable for wall trellises

  • Clematis Montana
  • Honeysuckle
  • Akebia quinata
  • Climbing roses
  • Bougainvillea
  • Passionflower
  • Wisteria
  • Bittersweet
  • Kiwi
  • Jasmine Summer

Annual Creepers

  • Sweet Peas
  • Nasturtiums
  • Black-eyed Susan (vine)
  • Morning Glory

Shade Or Part Shade Loving Vines

  • Clematis
  • Climbing Hydrangea
  • Winter Jasmine
  • Climbing Roses

Fragrant Climbers

  • Climbing rose
  • Wisteria
  • Honeysuckle
  • Sweet Peas Fast growing
  • Clematis Montana
  • Honeysuckle
  • Russian Vine

Varieties For North-Facing Walls (lack of sun, damp ground)

  • Clematis
  • Climbing Hydrangea
  • Winter Jasmine
  • Roses

Varieties For South-Facing Walls (lots of sun, dry soil)

  • Honeysuckle
  • Passionflower
  • Nasturtium
  • Morning Glory
  • Ceanothus
  • Mexican Orange
  • Myrtle

Varieties For East-Facing Walls (lack of sun, cold winds)

  • Roses
  • Flowering Quince
  • Forsythia

Varieties For West-Facing Walls (best conditions possible)

  • Magnolias
  • Camellias
  • Wisteria
  • Honeysuckle
  • Clematis Montana

Plant Suggestions For Creating Espaliers On Your Wall Trellis

  • Citrus trees
  • Sea grape
  • Fig tree
  • Climbing or creeping fig
  • Apple tree
  • Pyracantha
  • Crepe Myrtle
  • Hollies
  • Magnolia grandiflora
  • Peach, plum, nectarine
  • Camellias
  • Gardenia
  • Juniper
  • Confederate jasmine

Key things to remember when planning the size, dimension, location, and plants for your trellis are the area being covered, climate, directional exposure, seasonal color, and desired fragrance. Also remember that the structure must be sturdy enough so that it does not fall over from the weight of the plants.


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