Have you got lots of old, assorted wooden or metal articles lying around? Do you have leftover timber beams/metal bars from a past project that you don’t know how to dispose of? If you’re handy with tools and have some time to spare, you may not have to spend money on disposing of junk because it can be turned into some seriously amazing outdoor architecture that is sure to make your yard the talk of the neighborhood!
I’ve put together some ideas to convert excess wooden raw materials into beautiful trellis structures that can be used as a canvas on which you can express your creativity. But before we begin, for those of us who are unaware, a trellis is a structure made from a lattice or framework of wood, metal or bamboo that has practical and aesthetic applications in the garden.
Where you would normally have to pay a considerable sum to have a pre-built trellis installed in your garden, you can also use the aforementioned ‘junk’ to build your own. How big or how small you build it naturally depends on your skills and the material you have available, but in any case, once you’re done, it will transform your lawn for the better:
Trellis for climbing plants
If you’ve only got a few tall pieces of wood or metal at hand, you can build a relatively simple framework out of them that goes into the soft soil of your plant beds. Climbing plants will quickly start growing along the vertical support provided by the trellis, and in no time, you will have tall, green, neatly organized, and aesthetically appealing botanical structures gracing your garden.
Climbing roses are recommended if you prefer beauty in your garden, but if you want to evoke the feel of a Tuscan vineyard in your house, you could go with a grapevine (this is particularly recommended if your house has weatherworn stone walls). Not only will it look rustic and charming, it will also bear delicious fruit in the summer that you and your friends can enjoy.
Building upon the idea discussed above, you could set up two trellises facing each other, covered with a roof made of sheet metal. Let climbing plants grow dense and thick on the trellises, and you’ll have a surreally beautiful archway in your garden. You don’t need to stop at this though, provided you’ve got the resources and time, you can build an entire trellis fence on the boundaries of your garden (the trellises that make up the fences can have a shorter height compared to the archway). Should you pull this off, you’ll give your garden a luxury villa aesthetic without hiring expert landscapers!
Note that you’ll need to be careful if you’ve placed the archway in a spot that puts it in the way of heavy garden equipment. From personal experience, it can be a smart idea to do garden care manually near a wooden trellis – for example, a handheld snow shovel may be safer than a heavy duty snowblower to clean up your archway.
If you don’t want to go through the entire trouble of building an archway and fence, and you feel that an archway alone will look out of place, you can opt to build an arbor instead. Set up the vertical trellises as you would for the archway, but instead of using sheet metal for the roof, this time incorporate a lateral trellis instead!
Voila – you’ve just made an arbor that wouldn’t look out of place in a traditional Japanese garden. It is up to you whether you want to have climbers growing on this structure or not – it won’t look bad either way. I would also recommend placing a small wooden bench underneath the resulting natural shelter (or even craft a pergola swing – this would be the perfect spot to relax with a drink in the summer.
Trellis wall décor
If all you’ve got are a handful of wooden sticks – do not despair. You can still craft small trellis hangings that can be placed on your garden walls to lend them a unique, captivating appeal. You can grow some hanging plants on these to make them blend in with the rest of the vegetation if you want, but they won’t look out of place on their own either (particularly if you’ve got a minimalist Zen theme going on in your garden).
Bear in mind that these are just a few of the things that you can do with trellises – you can find loads of other ideas by browsing the web that could be better suited to your garden and to the raw material-cum-trash that you have at hand.