“Gardening is how I relax. It’s another form of creating and playing with colors.” – Oscar de la Renta
Having a trellis in your garden is like creating a vertical canvas of color above any horizontal foliage and blooms. It’s a way to maximize the gardening space you have. By going upward, you don’t need to put in additional plots or garden boxes to add beauty to your garden.
Some of the most beautiful plants are those that climb. Morning glories, climbing roses, and sweet pea flowers all require something to grab onto if they are to flourish. Cucumber plants, pole beans, and tomato plants also need a support structure. Maximize your garden space by adopting one or more of our most fabulous garden trellis ideas.
1. Arbor Garden Trellis Ideas
A garden arbor is a structure added to the landscape to provide privacy, shelter, or delineation between different garden zones. An arbor may be erected over a garden path. Its roof and walls are usually made of flat trellis panels or horizontal slats to support vining plant varieties. An arbor is a good trellis idea to support a climbing vine in a vegetable garden or a flower garden.
For a gorgeous garden entrance, build an arbor at the head of the path and plant climbing roses on either side. Bougainvillea or clematis are colorful options if you prefer something other than roses. Plant a different color or type of climbing flower on each side, and the two will eventually merge on top of your arbor into one stunning color explosion.
2. Creative Garden Trellis Ideas
If you want a garden trellis idea that goes beyond the typical wood or metal grids, you have many options to choose from. Paint sticks in bright colors and patterns and tie them together with garden twine for a colorful wall-mounted trellis design. Arrange wood lathe strips in a hexagonal pattern instead of a grid, for a honeycomb-like design.
A woodworker can craft a unique trellis structure for your garden, or you can research DIY garden trellis design ideas and build something different yourself. Repurpose thrift-store curtain rods into tomato or flower trellises by mounting them on a fence or wall.
A wooden wagon wheel makes a creative DIY trellis leaned against a wall. For a whimsical garden trellis idea, stand rusty or broken garden tools up in the dirt and let your vine plants climb up them.
3. DIY Garden Trellis Ideas
A teepee style trellis is one of the easiest and oldest forms of DIY garden trellis design. Simply dig three or more sturdy wooden or bamboo poles into the ground. Lean them toward the middle and tie them together with twine or rope. Wind the rope or twine around the structure, as you would a Christmas tree garland, which provides horizontal lines for each climbing plant to latch onto.
Another easy DIY garden trellis design is the tent-style structure. Similar to the teepee, this structure uses sturdy poles to create a tent-like frame from which you attach ropes or steel utility panels for your plants to climb up. These are excellent squash or cucumber trellis structures in a vegetable garden, as shown in this video:
4. Fence Garden Trellis Ideas
Make a portion of your fence out of lattice or use lattice trellis panels for your entire garden fence. Climbing roses, honeysuckle, English ivy, and blackberries are all great plants to grow along a trellis fence. Over time, you may end up with a living fence, with hardly any lattice material visible between your climbing plants. Just be sure to stop any vines from growing onto your gate, or you’ll have trouble getting in and out.
A simple trellis system can be built along an existing wood privacy fence. Create a short, raised garden bed along the fence bottom to house your climbing plants. The size of the grid openings determines the amount of privacy your trellis fence provides, which may not be much until the plant cover matures.
5. Freestanding Garden Trellis Ideas
A beautiful freestanding trellis can shape your entire garden, serving as a main focal point that makes your yard stand out in the neighborhood. It can be made of virtually anything that has an open structure for plants to climb upon. Convert an old crib rail into a freestanding trellis, or tie two antique ladders together at the top for a unique wooden trellis to support your tomato plants or pole beans.
A French tuteur or obelisk trellis is similar to the teepee trellis, but considerably more refined. It has four walls of tapered lattice panels that meet at the top. An obelisk trellis works well in a small garden bed, providing ample vertical gardening space when horizontal space is limited. An obelisk can form the heart of a small kitchen garden while supporting tomatoes or peas.
6. Garden Arch Garden Trellis Ideas
A white wooden arched trellis covered in roses is a classic garden design element. Often located at the garden entrance, or in the middle of a winding garden path, there’s something magical about walking under an elegant arch trellis covered in fragrant blooms.
Garden arch trellises can also be made of metal. These structures are usually quite simple in design and can be found at big-box retailers and home improvement stores. While the basic versions are inexpensive, detailed metal arch trellis kits can be found at a higher cost point. Both types are easy to assemble and work well to support ivy and other climbers.
7. Lattice Garden Trellis Ideas
Standard wooden trellis panels are available at any garden shop or home improvement center. Make fence panels from wood lattice, or fasten a long, narrow section of lattice to a wall or privacy fence. This adds a decorative touch while allowing your climbers something to grab hold of.
Use garden twine to connect bamboo poles together in a grid pattern to make a sturdy lattice trellis. Particularly beautiful in Asian-inspired gardens, a bamboo trellis archway or pergola sounds easy to DIY but may involve a medium-to-high level of DIY skills.
8. Metal Garden Trellis Ideas
Metal makes a sturdy trellis structure. Steel utility panels are a great type of tomato trellis or pea trellis, used in a vegetable garden where function matters more than appearance. You can purchase simple metal trellis arches to place over a garden path or raised garden bed. Look at thrift stores or antique shops for weathered antique wrought iron trellis pieces to refinish—or simply enjoy their aged patina.
If you have a generous budget, contact a local metal worker, welder, or metal sculptor to help you design a totally unique metal trellis. These artists can create metal panels or metal vine-like structures to support your climbing plants. If you can’t find a skilled metal worker, look online or in second-hand shops to find a used metal trellis. Other welded objects can be turned into great trellises for your growing plants to hold onto.
9. Pergola Garden Trellis Ideas
People often confuse garden arbors and pergolas, but they are two different kinds of structures. A pergola usually has open sides and a flat roof. An arbor usually has four posts, while a pergola has more than four. A pergola may look like a small, open-walled house, or favor a covered bridge built over a section of your garden path.
Pergolas are usually big enough to cover a table and chairs or another seating arrangement. Perfect for summer dining or your daughter’s tea parties, a pergola covered in flowering vines is a classically romantic garden feature. A pergola can also provide welcome shade in a vegetable garden when it’s time to harvest your bounty.
10. Small Pots And Raised Gardens
A raised garden bed is the perfect base for a garden trellis. Even a small container garden can benefit from a small trellis structure. Plant something that can trail and climb, such as English ivy, or add a deep purple morning glory to climb up from a pot of red geraniums.
A great way to repurpose a set of old wood or metal backless bar stools is to use them as garden trellises. Just place them in the middle of any raised garden beds that include climbing plants. Vines will ascend the tall legs and you can add pizazz by placing a small sculpture or gazing ball atop each stool’s seat. You can also bend wire clothes hangers into unique shapes and arrange them as lattices in small potted plants.
11. Wall Garden Trellis Ideas
Trellises are an easy way to embellish a bare section of your home’s external walls. You can purchase pre-made trellis panels made from a variety of materials to mount on your walls. If you are handy, it is easy to make garden wall trellises out of disassembled wood pallets, as shown in this video:
If you already have well-established climbing plants, you can hang your wall trellis higher than ground level. As long as your climbers can attach to the lowest rail, they will take hold and soon fill the entire structure.
Fan-shaped garden wall trellises are a classic element and look more interesting than a basic square or rectangular wall grid. Make your garden wall trellis stand out by painting or staining it a color that contrasts the wall’s finish.
12. Wire and Mesh Garden Trellis Ideas
A wire trellis is one of the most primitive garden trellis ideas. One of the easiest DIY garden trellis types to make, all it requires is standing wooden posts in the garden and running wire between them. While it might be a bit unsightly before your climbing plants take over, they can be durable structures used year after year. Many vineyards use the same wire trellis structures for generations.
A wire mesh trellis is another inexpensive type of DIY trellis that is quite doable by even the most novice gardeners. It is among the least-attractive garden trellis ideas—when bare.
When covered with beautiful climbing plant varieties, however, it can be a sight to behold. For a creative take on a wire mesh trellis, fill an antique window frame with chicken wire and hang it over climbing flowers or fruit vines.