Thursday, March 26, 2015


Photo by Kathy Woodard, The Garden Glove

Using trellis in flower and vegetable gardens can be useful in several ways.  There are many vegetables including peas, beans, tomatoes and squash that grow better with the aid of trellising.  It gives good support, makes it easier to harvest and watch for pests, and gives great visual dimension to your garden or blank walls.  It also can be useful for protecting your home’s siding or fencing from our harsh Colorado sunshine.

Garden centers sell an array of trellis at all price points but how fun to find unexpected items around the house, or at garage and rummage sales, and repurpose them in your garden.  Depending on where you want to use the trellis and your personality, the choices are limited only by the imagination. 

Pick your location and then integrate something unusual into your habitat.  If you like the whimsical, how about an old wooden window (without glass), shutters or doorframe and either use them as is or paint them a color to accent your plantings.  French blue or yellow make interesting contrast with many flower colors. An old ladder can be laid vertically, horizontally or diagonally.  Experiment with placement to determine the best look. 

Try finding an old-fashioned iron bed frame or abandoned gate.  It could be used either rusted or repainted.  Even the metal springs would make a fun possibility for unique trellising.  Old tricycle/bicycle frames or even several bicycle wheels hung vertically or mounted together in rings would be interesting.  How about those abandoned cribs?  The rails could be used in a variety of ways to create trellising or maybe use the crib as a container garden. 

How about a telescoping gate usually used for contain pets and kids?  Plants can easily be tied and it can be leaned against a building or staked.  An old expanding coat rack can also work the same way.
Photo by Kathy Woodard, The Garden Glove
If a natural look is more your style, find a section of old fence or gather tree branches and create your own ladder.  If you’re handy, you can build a series of adjoining squares with mesh or metal lattice wire. Using both vertical and horizontal squares give it depth and visual interest.  Consider using old piping combined with wire for a sleeker more contemporary look.

One of the most intriguing elements of a garden is creating little surprises whether it’s by plants, containers or colors.  Repurposed trellising may give you a way to create a little humor and help out your plantings too! 

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