Trellises and frames for plant support

There are many reasons why a young shrub or vine needs more support than just what a stake can give. The crossbarred structure of a trellis offers more width and more places to tie a sprawling plant. When a plant is splayed out in graceful curves and masses against a background grid, it often looks better and displays its flowers or fruits better than when it’s allowed to grow freely in all directions.

A framework that holds a plant away from a wall also keeps it healthier. Good air circulation minimizes mildew and rot.

Rampant growers like ivy can benefit by the discipline of a sturdy trellis. A strong framework offers the vine some alternative to filling every crack and crevice in the fence or wall, and it encourages a gardener to keep the vine trimmed back. (Almost any plant when grown on a trellis needs more pruning and pinching than when grown elsewhere.)

Finally, the trellis structure itself adds all-year interest to a fence or a blank house wall. This is especially true if it provides some color contrast; for example, a dark-stained framework against a light-colored wall (or vice versa), or glistening white latticework set into a dark green fence.

Two or three arches give a bowerlike effect. Use 2 by 2 posts attaching cross strips to width you desire.

Prefab sections of 2 by 4-foot trellises are placed end to end. Block out from the house or garage with 2 by 2-inch strips.

Wing trellis is the most effective in multiples. Nail beanpoles or bamboo to the frame of 2 by 4’s or 3 by 4’s.

An open frame of redwood 2 by 4’s is set out from an existing fence and can rise above it to any height that is locally legal.

Fence raiser for a low fence that could go higher is made so that its frame accommodates ready-made, see-through trellis.

For easy espalier, apply 1 by 2 or 2 by 2-inch strips (painted a contrasting color) to the fence; train plants up the diagonals.

Artificial tree could display a grape, wisteria, gourd vine, special rose, or honeysuckle to scent the garden; can be any height.

Pyramid for tomatoes provides good air circulation and shades the root area. Use beanpoles, grape stakes, or scrap lumber.

Bamboo used in the Japanese style is fastened with lag screws. You could lash with copper wire or with heavy cord, instead.

Espalier frame is standard trellis (4 by 8 feet) held away from the fence by wood strips. Fasten with clinched-over nails.

Free-standing screen is mounted in ordinary type of planter; makes good patio privacy screen, space divider, or windbreak.

Unbreakable trellis is made with steel reinforcing rods wired together, then attached to the wall with screw eyes or eyebolts.

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