The Charm of a Garden Trellis

Flowers of Clematis in front of a blue sky climbing a trellis to reach the sun

The look and fragrance of roses and other flowers are inviting enough on their own, but coupled with the classic elegance of a trellis they create an enchanting garden for any visitor. A garden trellis is the perfect element to define your garden and give it a unique and delightful theme. Whether you are looking to create a garden with a classic or modern motif, a formal or informal style, complementing the garden with a trellis gives your landscape a focal point.

TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Susan Patterson suggests, "Consider adding a number of trellised plants to your garden that bloom at different times, this will add color all season long."


The beauty and color of the flowers on the trellis cause the garden visitor's eyes to look upward. Therefore, a trellis is a wonderful way to enlarge a garden with limited space. Since a trellis stands upright, it adds a vertical dimension to the garden and gives it the appearance of being larger than it is.

Trellises also offer a charming elegance that visitors find inviting, unlike gates that seem to distance and prevent admission to other areas of the yard and garden. A trellis is a relatively inexpensive way to add a new dimension to the family garden. Not only does it add a sense of height, but also, it adds a sense of permanence or stability.


Additionally, trellises are terrific for creating boundaries between separate areas of the yard or hiding unsightly ones. Unattractive items can be hidden by the presence of a carefully placed trellis. Unsightly trash cans, cumbersome pool pumps, over-sized air conditioning units, and other outdoor eyesores can be carefully camouflaged with the addition of a carefully groomed trellis. Moreover, a wall of flowers fashioned with the clever use of trellises can create a privacy feature for the homeowner living in a closely nestled area of homes. There isn't a better way to create a secluded section of the yard for the hot tub.


The trellis gardener should be careful not to overcrowd the trellis and to provide proper care for the plants on and around the trellis to maximize the effect. Low hedges can be placed around the base of the trellis to add to its look. Simply select hedges that will be easy to trim and maintain throughout the gardening season.

Since the vines, flowers, and plants that you place around the trellis will most likely grow rather tightly around its structure, it is important to consider the long term implications of placement before you plant. Should you decide to move the trellis in a following year, it is probably a better idea to plant annuals initially to ease the transition.

Sufficient room should be available between a trellis and any solid structure, such as a wall, that is behind it. This will allow air to circulate, promote healthier plants, and avoid mildew problems with the surrounding walls.


Whether you use trailing vines, climbing flowers, or climbing rose bushes, occasionally, the plants will need to be coaxed to climb up the trellis properly and attractively.

TIP: Susan advises, "Never wind a plant around a trellis, rather provide gentle support to train."

Fertilization of the plants is important to encourage the growth of the plant, its roots, and a profusion of new buds. Fertilization is extremely important at the onset of the plantings and occasionally throughout the growing season.

Be sure to keep a watchful eye on any ties that you have used to secure the plants to the trellis. It is essential to maintain a loose enough fit in order not to harm the stems of the plant. As the plants grow, simply check their status periodically and make adjustments accordingly.

A variety of quick growing climbing plants that will add color to your trellis exist, including honeysuckle, jasmine, clematis, sweet pea, climbing hydrangea, and morning glories. Climbing vines are also excellent choices for adding color to a garden trellis and include black-eyed Susan vines and bougainvillea vines. Of course climbing rose bushes are a classic option. Just remember to watch out for the thorns with this colorful addition.

Wisteria is also a colorful and popular choice for a trellis. However, wisteria is extremely heavy (and invasive) and special care should be taken when using it. A permanent trellis that is very strong and secure is the best option to withstand the weight of wisteria. This prevents the need for continued maintenance in supporting the plant.


Offered in numerous styles, sizes, and colors, a trellis can be purchased in a garden center, home decorating center, discount store, or an online website. They are available in wood, including redwood, cedar, and mahogany, and maintenance free copper or vinyl.

TIP: Susan recommends, "Be sure that your trellis will support the mature weight of your vine before you plant."

When selecting a trellis made of wood, make sure it is pressure treated wood to avoid complications due to weathering. The wood trellises can be painted or stained to compliment the colors used in the garden or on the home. Additionally, natural wood can be left to weather, giving it a fine silvery gray color.

A touch of elegance, designed to last, a garden trellis is a unique and eye catching conversation piece. Create a favorite garden spot in your yard today with a trellis and your own personalized flower arrangement.