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A Guide on How to Build the Perfect Trellis for Stunning Outdoor Decor

Posted by Worthington Millwork on 12/5/19 5:00 AM

0bff34fd-e1c8-4dc3-9f84-4e6e11fd8f9c-upload-North-Pergola-South-ElevationA trellis is a functional and visually pleasing architectural structure which supports and displays climbing plants. It is a frame made of intersecting pieces of a durable material. Climbing plants require a trellis to grow in the garden without the support of trees or fences. Here is how to create a trellis that will make your outdoor decor stunning.

1. Tendril vine, twiner, or scrambler?

To learn about designing a trellis, you need to understand how each specific type of climbing plant grows; that is, whether it's a tendril vine, twiner, or scrambler. Tendril vines are thin and use tendrils to climb around hosts, twiners twine around with stems or leaves, and scramblers have flexible, soft stems and need support to climb.

The predicted size of your climbers is another factor. Having enough space in your trellises will ensure the climbers can reach their full potential. Here is a comparison of the trellis systems for climbing roses, grapevines, and clematis:

Climbing roses are scramblers. Rose trellises are tall and rectangular in shape and commonly use a grid system; they need to be two feet in the ground or put into concrete. However, they can be a standard (crosshatch), fan, or ladder (A-frame) design.

Roses only need light anchoring with twist ties rather than weaving through the trellis. Anchoring them across instead of horizontally will, believe it or not, create more blooms from bottom to top. They also grow towards the sun and so need to be able to get enough light all over. Rose trellises create fantastic accents, walkways, walls, and fences, and serve as a main focal point in the garden. 

Grapevines are tendril vines and naturally run all over. They need a trellis with horizontal support both for the fruit and for spreading the canopy to allow for air circulation. It is one of the simplest structures. They can provide a vibrant green wall, pergola, or roof. Space and strength are the most important factors for designing your grapevine trellis. 

Clematis is a twiner and does well with a trellis that has wire mesh over wide crosspieces. Either a standard, fan, or ladder design will work and allow it to spread out. A clematis trellis often serves as the support for the brightly-colored, top-heavy plant.

2. Form, function, or both?

Most people desire a trellis to provide both form and function. It is up to you whether or not you wish to make the trellis a part of the visual or to simply give support to the plant, which will be the star of your garden. You also need to figure out where the trellis will go and how it will fit in with the rest of your garden. 

3. Training

Training a climbing plant causes it to grow a certain way rather than taking up too much space and creates a unique look. It is about how you anchor the plant as well as how you prune it. If you are replacing an existing trellis or creating a new one, think about how direction you want the plant to grow. Doing so will help you decide on the trellis design.

4. Custom trellises

Our trellises are made out of high-quality cellular PVC, which is waterproof, flexible, and durable. You get your very own custom design by either submitting yours to us or discussing our design templates and customizing them as you wish. We then create the trellis and ship it to you. All of our trellises have a 25-year warranty regardless of whether the design is simple or complex.

Worthington Millworks has authentic American-made architectural products. To learn more about our selection and services, contact us.

Topics: Pergolas, pvc pergola, trelis

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