15 Smart Ways to Use a Trellis in Your Garden

By   | Last Updated :   July 28, 2021 | Filed In :   Garden Furniture Ideas

Thinking about installing a trellis in your garden? There are many potential locations for it.

Mounted on a wall, in or at the back of a planter, behind a sitting area as a privacy fence, in your vegetable garden as a support for plants—you can always find room for a trellis in your garden.

That said, you don’t want style and design to be your only considerations when installing a trellis.

How to decide where to put a trellis in the garden

To find the best place for your trellis, consider what plants will grow on it, sun exposure, trellis material and design, air circulation, and local regulations. Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors.

This quick guide applies to both store-bought trellises and those you make yourself.

Plants

Full-sun climbers like clematis like to face the south while peas or green beans need only up to about five hours of sunlight and prefer cooler temperatures.

Always position the trellis with the plant it supports in mind.

Plants that need a trellis include:

15 Smart Ways to Use a Trellis in Your Garden 1

Photo by Bailey Gullo on Unsplash

Type of garden

Maximize sun exposure by placing your trellis with your garden orientation in mind.

Air circulation

Most plants need good air circulation to develop well, resist pests, and stay healthy. This is something to remember when installing a trellis on a wall or in a corner.

Trellis design

Some trellises are designed for a specific use such as arch trellises for walkways or A-frame trellises for cucumbers. Trying to fit a ready-made trellis to a more problematic location isn’t always the best idea. You may be better off building a simple DIY trellis using readily available materials.

Material

Consider also the material from which your trellis is made. Wooden trellises that haven’t been treated to resist rot won’t last long if exposed to the elements, so give them some cover if possible.

For an exposed location, choose a pressure-treated or painted wooden trellis, or pick an alternative material like stainless steel, copper, or PVC.

Mowing and garden maintenance

The beauty of a trellis may carry you away, but you don’t want to install it where it gets in the way of mowing and other regular garden maintenance activities. Freestanding trellises in particular tend to need some space around them.

Local regulations

Depending on local regulations, some trellises may be considered fences. This means they shouldn’t exceed the maximum height allowed for fences, e.g., 2 meters. Always check local regulations before installing a large trellis.

Inspired trellis location ideas in your garden

The best locations for trellises include garden walls or fences, vertical vegetable gardens, planters, and anywhere you want to create a privacy screen. Let’s explore some of the best locations for a garden trellis.

There are plenty of options across styles and budgets, so it’s quite impossible not to find an option that works for your space.

1. Mounted on a wall or fence with brackets

Create a striking backdrop for your garden by installing a wooden trellis against a back wall or fence. You’ll need brackets and screws to support the frame.

Wall mounted trellis

Wall mounted trellis; credit: BHG

2. In the vegetable garden

A-frame trellises are great for cucumbers and peas. For beans, you can use simple pole trellises. For squash, tomatoes, and melons wire mesh or any grid trellis provides excellent support.

Close up of peas growing up on a trellis

Simple string trellis; credit: Shutterstock

3. In or behind a planter box or container

Stake a trellis in a planter box or container to help tall plants grow straight. Always choose a trellis that’s proportional to the size of the container. Avoid installing tall trellises in small pots. You can also add one behind a box planter for décor.

Planter box trellis

Planter box trellis; credit: HomeTalk

4. As a privacy screen anywhere you need it

Diamond-pattern wooden trellises and wrought iron ones are popular as privacy screens in any area of the garden. They are often more elegant than wall partitions or bamboo fences and provide the air circulation climbing plants need.

Privacy screen trellis

Privacy screen trellis; credit: HomeTalk

5. Right into a flowerbed

Small, corkscrew trellises provide elegant support to plants without shading neighbouring plants. They’re a good choice whether you want to add visual detail to a flower bed or simply protect plants against mischievous winds.

Flowerbed trellis

Flowerbed trellis; credit: Anikasdiylife

6. In any vertical garden

Trying to build a vertical garden? Whether it’s meant to be a new feature of your main garden or a separate garden that reimagines unused space, trellises can add vertical height to your greenery and help plants develop better.

Vertical garden trellis

Vertical garden trellis; credit: Ok.ru

7. As a partition between a garden and yard

A simple trellis can help you create a transitional area between your garden and yard. It can also divide different areas of your garden.

Trellis partition

Trellis as partition; credit: HomeTalk

8. At the entrance to your gazebo

Add some colour and fragrance to your gazebo entrance by hanging a trellis above it. Or frame the entrance with two freestanding trellises. Even a small trellis in a planter can make guests feel more welcome.

Gazebo trellis

Gazebo trellis; credit: Wayfair

9. To create a walkway tunnel

Few garden features are more striking than wisteria growing on an arched trellis tunnel. You can opt for a wrought iron trellis or simply build one using arched cattle wire supported by T-posts.

Trellis as tunnel

Trellis as tunnel; credit: Learningandyearning

10. To frame outbuildings

Garden storage spaces may be necessary, but they don’t have to look drab. With trellises, you can frame them in greenery and colour.

Trellis on a shed

Trellis on a shed; credit: Pinterest

11. Over a downspout

Stuck with a downspout that looks at odds with everything else in your garden? Install a trellis over it and grow a climber to make it look as if it’s raining greenery.

Downspout trellis

Downspout trellis; credit: Gardeningforlife

12. As a fence trellis

Whether it’s between neighbours or different parts of your property, a fence trellis is easier to set up than a regular fence and looks way better. It also improves air circulation and requires less maintenance.

Fence trellis

Fence trellis; credit: Danscollectiblesandmore

13. Leaning against a wall

A simple wooden trellis or a repurposed pallet helps you turn an average wall into a green corner. But make sure that the trellis is fixed in place or heavy enough not to be upset by the wind.

Against a wall trellis

Against a wall trellis; credit: BHG

14. As a patio or deck trellis

Got a patio or deck in your garden? You can choose from a variety of standing, hanging, and attachable trellises that can enhance the outside as well as the inside of your lounging space.

Patio trellis

Patio trellis; credit: BHG

15. Just about anywhere else in your garden

You can add more texture, contrast, and height to your garden with freestanding trellises for décor. You can use them to border paths, provide a backdrop for low-growing plants, cover the shaded space between trees, and in many other creative ways. Just make sure to consider the requirements of the plants.

The Trellis Factor

Few garden features highlight plants as well as trellises. Regardless of your gardening style, you can always find a place for a trellis on your green patch, whether it’s dazzlingly ornamental, minimalist, or classic.

But while trellises themselves can be installed just about anywhere, remember that the climbers and creepers growing on them are a bit more pretentious. Let the sun and shade requirements of the plants guide your choice and you won’t ever place a trellis in the wrong place.

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