Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop – Trellises and Screens

– Posted in: Garden Design

Ok, so maybe they’re not as much fun as garden whimsy, but for those of us who need to create privacy, block an ugly view, add height to our garden, or support a favorite climber, trellises and screens are invaluable design features. Some are purely practical, but there’s a lot of potential for creativity here too. So this month, let’s trot out shots of and stories about our favorite trellises, screens, and yes, vines and climbers as well.

If you’re new to the Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop, here’s how it works: Write a post on anything related to support structures, screening, or your favorite climbing plants on your own blog and leave a link here (already-archived posts count too), or jot down your thoughts in a comment below. At the end of the month, I’ll gather all of the links into one summary post for easy reference. If you’re interested in checking out previous GBD Workshops, you can find them here:

Paths and Walkways
Fences and Walls
Arbors and Pergolas
Color in the Garden
Container Plantings
Front-Yard Gardens
Stone in the Garden
Decks, Porches, and Patios
Garden Whimsy

And for those of you who like to know what’s ahead, here’s the list of proposed topics for the next two months of Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshops:

* Water Gardens (ponds, waterfalls, bog gardens, and container water gardens)

* Coping with Slopes (groundcovers, terraces, steps, etc.)

If any of you have topics you’d really like to see covered in future Design Workshops, feel free to leave a comment!

Nancy J. Ondra
Nan gardens on 4 acres in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. In the firm belief that every garden ought to have a pretentious-sounding (or at least pretentious-looking) name, she refers to her home grounds as "Hayefield." There, she experiments with a wide variety of plants and planting styles, from cottage gardens and color-based borders to managed meadows, naturalistic plantings, and veggies--all under the watchful eyes of her two pet alpacas, Daniel and Duncan.
Nancy J. Ondra

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Brian August 1, 2008, 8:26 am

Wow! Been looking through the website for the past few minutes and I’m humbled and excited about what I’m seeing. You all are very talented and I have already learned a lot in my short visit.

There is a small write-up of a very utilitarian trellis made from conduit at Although it isn’t pretty it does get the job done and was cheap — both good qualities in my book.

If you take the time to visit my website it should be immediately apparent that I am new to gardening, am currently focused on vegetable gardening, am excited about what I am learning, but I have no earthly idea what I’m doing! Hopefully sharing my ongoing experiences, as painful and funny as some are, will inspire others to give vegetable gardening a shot. There is nothing in the world better than sitting down to a meal that, quite literally, represents the “fruits of your labor.”

Thank you for the opportunity to share my trellis idea with your readers. I’m looking forward to seeing what others have come up with too!

Welcome to GGW, Brian! Thanks so much for sharing the nuts-and-bolts construction of the Trellis of Awesomeness 2.0. It’s a great how-to post and a good read too.

patientgardener August 1, 2008, 2:20 pm

Would love to contribute but I only have a little bit of dull trellis – will wait in anticipation for the next two though as have plenty to contribute on those subjects.

I look forward to seeing what you’re going to come up with. You know, there’s no rule that says you can’t put the posts up early, so if you feel like working on them sooner, go for it!

Tina Ramsey August 1, 2008, 5:03 pm

I will get mine in soon, as it is pretty much ready. I can easily post about since those neighbors left-yahoo! Good neighbors now but the screen/arbor/trellis remains. Obviously it was a privacy thing.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with, Tina. If you’d rather wait until the last day of the month, that’s fine too. I’ll try to remember to check in when I do the wrap-up post for August if I haven’t already gotten your link.

Frances August 1, 2008, 8:05 pm

Hi Nan, our favorite NYT covergirl! ;-> We are a little deficit on the trellis front so will have to think of something to post about. I love it when you make me think!

Glad to be of assistance on that front, Frances. I know whatever you come up with, it’ll be worth waiting for!

Pam/Digging August 2, 2008, 12:30 am

Hi, Nan. A while back I posted about building an inexpensive, easy trellis screen to shield the trampoline eyesore from the patio and back porch. Count this one as my contribution this time around.

I remember that one, Pam; it’s a great idea. Thanks for the link!

Jean August 2, 2008, 6:14 pm

Hi Nan, I just posted a couple pics of my trellis solutions here: Can’t wait to see some other ideas.
Pam – love the screening of the trampoline. A common design challenge which you’ve handled quite well.

Wonderful, Jean – thanks for joining us this month. It was a treat to see your special trellis choices.

Tina Ramsey August 2, 2008, 7:02 pm

Thanks Nan.

VP August 3, 2008, 12:26 pm

Hmm – like many of the others, my material for this subject’s a bit thin, but I think I’ll still be able to do something…

Hey, VP, I know you’re busy with your own blogging project. But if you find time and material for a post this month, that would be great!

David August 4, 2008, 2:57 pm

I’d be interested to hear how folks build clematis-friendly, wooden trellises. I usually end up adding some kind of trellis netting (usually plastic) so that the clematis can climb on its own. Seems like most wooden trellises are built with wood that’s too thick for the leaf stems to twine around.

I too hope to see some suggestions for clematis, David. The only clematis supports I really have luck with are other plants!

Jessica August 5, 2008, 2:08 pm

I built a few utilitarian trellises and cages to support my veggies. There are a couple of pics here although I could do a new post with better pictures and explanation. Maybe I will do another better post and leave another comment here once its done.

Hi Jessica! Your post link doesn’t work, and neither does the one to your blog. Want to try again so I can make sure you’re included in the wrap-up post? Thanks!

Gail August 6, 2008, 7:22 am

Sounds fun and I hope mine is completed in time!

If not, just leave us a link whenever you get around to it!

Michelle August 8, 2008, 11:33 pm

Over at Garden Porn , –
I have posted a few photographs of some screens and trellises.
Some are made of metal, while other are crafted from wood.

I always *do* enjoy seeing your work, Michelle, and once again you’ve come through with some inspiring ideas. Thanks!

Craig at Ellis Hollow August 10, 2008, 9:53 pm

Hey Nan: My workshop post is up here:
Garden bloggers design workshop: Screening out the road

Thanks, Craig – your mixed border is certainly a more interesting option than a solid fence or hedge. I can see how it provides its own challenges at certain times of the year, but your idea of adding some woven-grass screening panels sounds like a super solution.

gina August 18, 2008, 8:25 am

Hi Nan – here’s my contribution.

Yay, Gina comes through for us again! I enjoyed seeing all of your various trellising ideas, but I have to say the old window is my favorite.

Lois J. de Vries August 22, 2008, 11:45 am

Hi Nan,
I have a design challenge for your readers — what to do with a propane tank in the front yard. See my post for the awful truth. I’d love to get some good suggestions to deal with this problem.

Wow, that *is* a screening challenge, Lois. Hey, GGW readers, you’re a creative bunch: How about offering some ideas to help out a fellow garden blogger?

Jim August 29, 2008, 9:54 am

I’m in. And before the end of the month!

You sure are in, Jim, and in very good time. What a great gallery of trellising and screening ideas! (Loved your disclaimers, too.) Many thanks!

Brent August 31, 2008, 12:36 pm

I remember starting a response here earlier in the month and then abandoning it due to other time pressures. Now that I’m relaxing over the long weekend, I have time to catch up. I hope that this isn’t too late.

I’ve built a redwood trellis to shade a sun-exposed window. I’ve written a short summary of efforts in <A HREF=””Trellis roundup.

Hey, thanks for the link, Brent! Nope, not too late at all.

Mother Nature September 3, 2008, 2:07 pm

I’m eagerly reading all of these posts because I need a screening solution.

Great, MN! If you find some inspiration, maybe you’ll blog about it and give us a link? We’d love to see what you come up with. Or, if you’re still seeking a solution, maybe you could post some details on your blog and leave a link here to see if anyone has suggestions.

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