Alicia DeVore

When I first started growing a garden, I had no idea how to use the small space to grow more food. I started exploring ways to grow things up, to take less space. That type of growing is called vertical gardening.

Not everything needs to grow vertically. But many plants in your backyard garden can grow more efficiently with added benefits by picking a system that help you to have a beautiful garden that grows more food. A trellis system is one of those support systems that will add value to any backyard garden.

In this blog post, I will be sharing how to use the best 4 garden trellis arch ideas for climbing plants and flowers in your backyard garden.

Garden Trellises

A garden trellis is like a ladder or a climbing frame for plants. It’s usually made up of lattice; think of it as a net or a grid made from long pieces of material that cross each other. Plants use this lattice or structure to climb upwards towards the sun, which they need to grow and bloom. In July’s 10 minute garden tasks, there ideas on how to help your garden grow. Check it out HERE.

Some veggies, like peas and beans, are climbers. They have these little tendrils, which are like tiny hands, that love to grab onto things and pull the plant upwards. A trellis gives these plants something to hold onto so they can reach for the sun.

4 Types of Trellises

Let’s take a look at the 4 trellis types that you can add to your backyard garden for function and beauty.

1.Panel Trellises:

These are flat trellis structures that can be attached to walls or fences or stand freely in your garden. They are perfect for creating a vertical green wall, especially in smaller gardens where space is at a premium. Plants like ivy or jasmine love to climb up and spread across this surface, providing a lush backdrop or privacy screen.

These can be made from various materials like wood, metal, or plastic, and come in a great range of designs to suit any garden style.

panel trellis with white flowers

2.Arch Trellis:

Also known as metal garden trellis or arbors, arch trellis creates a beautiful, dramatic entrance to a garden or a charming focal point within it. This type of trellis is typically larger and more robust.

The sides of an arch metal garden trellis often feature lattice or trelliswork for climbing plants to grip onto. Climbing roses, clematis, and honeysuckle are just a select few plants that thrive on an arch trellis, offering a stunning display of blooms overhead.

metal arch with roses growing on the sides

3.Obelisk Trellis:

A trellis that is tall, tower-like structures that add height and visual interest to flower beds, borders, or large plant pots. An obelisk trellis is often used to grow flowering climbers like sweet peas, morning glories, or climbing nasturtiums.

This trellis is a great way to add a vertical element to your front yard or garden, drawing the eye upward and making the most of the available space. Plus, they allow you to enjoy the beauty of these plants at the perfect eye level.

4.A-Frame Trellis:

Shaped like the letter ‘A’, this type pf trellis is a popular choice for vegetable gardens. They provide needed help for vining plants like cucumbers, squash, or peas, allowing them to grow upward instead of sprawling across the ground. Here is an article on growing cucumbers using a trellis.

This not only saves valuable garden space but also improves air circulation around the plants, which can help prevent disease. Plus, harvesting is easier when the fruits are hanging down from the trellis rather than hidden under foliage on the ground.

The color and shape of the trellis you choose depends on what type of plant you’re growing and will fit with the aesthetic you want to achieve in the landscaping of your garden.

What to Use?

A garden trellis can be made from a variety of materials, each with their own unique features and advantages.

  1. Wood: Wood is a popular choice due to its natural look and affordability for a trellised. Types of wood used include cedar, redwood, and pressure-treated pine. These are durable and resist rot, but they will need maintenance over time to protect against weathering.

  2. Bamboo: Bamboo trellis is lightweight, strong, and have a unique aesthetic. They’re also eco-friendly as bamboo is a fast-growing renewable resource. However, they may not be as long-lasting.

  3. Metal: Metal trellis, often made from steel or wrought iron, are very sturdy and can help grow heavier plants. They’re also resistant to weather and pests. Wrought iron is very durable for years.

  4. Vinyl/PVC: Vinyl or PVC trellis is very durable and require little maintenance. They resist weathering and won’t rot or rust. However, they may not have the same natural look as wood or bamboo.

  5. Wire: A wire trellis are simple, inexpensive, and easy to install. They’re often used for lighter climbing plants and can be attached to walls or fences.

  6. Aluminum: An aluminum trellis is lightweight yet strong, and resistant to rust. They’re often used in modern garden designs due to their sleek appearance.

Each material has its strengths, features and weaknesses as it makes a trellis, so the best one to choose for your trellis will depend on your specific needs, including the variety and type of plant you’re growing, your budget, and your personal style and color preferences.

Is an Arch the Same as a Trellis?

A trellis is typically a flat structure used in landscaping in your yard to grow climbing plants, helping them grow vertically. It can be freestanding in landscaping or attached to walls and fences.

An arch, also known as a garden arbor, is a larger, curved structure often serving as a garden entrance or focal point. It usually has trelliswork on the sides for climbing plants to create a further shade or to create a full shade or natural canopy overhead.

So, while both trellis options are used to support plants, a trellis is generally a flat structure, and a trellis with an arch is a larger, curved one.

Find Your Perfect Trellis

The ideal choice of a trellis depends on the type of plant you are planning to grow and the space available. Measure your garden space to determine the right place, size and shape of the trellis. Consider the mature size of the plant, the space it needs to grow, and how much sunlight it will need.

For vegetables like tomatoes, beans, or cucumbers, A-frame or stake trellises work well. For fruits like grapes or kiwi, consider sturdy options like pergolas. Decorative plants like roses or ivy would go well with panel trellises.

Installing a garden trellis properly is key in your outdoor space in your yard. Check its securely anchored to withstand wind and the weight of mature plants. Installing it at planting time can help avoid damaging plant roots later. After installation, train plants to connect and go up the support a trellis provides.

To Buy or To Build a Trellis

Consider Buying a Trellis If:

You’re short on time:

Pre-made Garden trellises are readily available and can be installed immediately.

You lack DIY skills:

If you’re not handy with tools, buying a ready-made trellis can save you the stress of building one yourself.

You want a specific design:

Garden centers and online stores offer a wide range of trellis designs. If you’ve found one that perfectly suits and fits your garden style, buying might be the best option.

You need to build a sturdy structure:

Commercially made trellises are often more robust and able to support heavier plants.

Consider Building a Trellis If:

You’re on a tight budget:

Building your own trellis can be cost-effective, especially if you already have suitable materials on hand.

You enjoy DIY projects in life:

If you love crafting and building, making your own trellis can be a rewarding project.

You need a custom size or design:

If you can’t find a trellis that fits or matches your vision for outdoor space, building your own allows you to tailor it to fit your exact specifications.

You want to add a unique piece:

A homemade trellis can add a personal touch to your garden and flowers that you won’t get from a store-bought version.

A Secret Garden Trellis

Trellises provide a vertical place in your yard that can feel like a perfect space that is safe and far away from the worries of the world. When I use trellises in my garden, it feels like a different world.

Use garden trellises in your backyard garden to add beauty and function and create your own secret space to hide away today by adding one new element to your garden.

For more information on how to grow in small and tight spaces, check out this blog post.

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About the Author

Alicia has been teaching her whole life from elementary teacher to workshops for beginning gardeners.  Go HERE to read Alicia's story into gardening from plant killer to pro grower and garden coach.  If you want to send Alicia a quick message, then use her contact page HERE.

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