I don't think Woody's posted since October... maybe just due to a dearth of interesting questions, which is part of what got me investigating (and increasingly vested in) the house side of the site.
Woody, give us a sign!
Lack of interesting questions is the major cause, although I had brain surgery on the 16th so that all has knocked out for a bit.
I have been working on a few things for spring. I want to build - or have built - some support for vines but I'm debating 'how much 'stuff is enough?' i.e. will additional structures in the front bed be too much? I want to come up with a more final plan for the structures before I make any decision on them. The most final plan at this point is for an iron tuteur. I drew a version of it for the Landscape Design 1 course I took last winter. I scaled it down and checked that Mario, the craftsman who bult my iron arbour for me, is still in business. He is, so I will ba meeting with him in mid-March to get a quote and finalize construction details. What do you think of this?
It would go to the left of where the red hibiscus are in the picture below, which also shows the iron arbour. There is currenly a rickety bamboo tripod there and the clematis on that would become the residents on the tuteur. I've tried to size the tutuer so it will not project (too far) above the arbour when it is bare for the winter.
"brain surgery"? jeezus woody I hope they put it all back the right way up! Seriously: are you well and making a speedy recovery, jeezus I'm freaking out just thinking about it.
I'm well Ink. It's a bit surreal that you can go in on a Tuesday an be home by Friday noon! (Mind you, we made a trip to ER on Sunday night...) Last time it took 2 months. The principle 'location, location, location' applies to this stuff too.
Bring on spring and garden season....
Surreal ain't the half of it, a turban on your head and a Timmies in your hand, jeezus.
Woody! Pardon me for butting in. I'm new to the forum, but have managed to read through all 67 odd pages of posts, and I feel like I know you're voice now. I've enjoyed reading your thoughts on design, and very much enjoyed seeing photos of that side yard that you did. Please accept my wishes for a speedy recovery.
Oh my! That does look uncomfortable - I don't really know you, but God Bless, and Spring is just around the corner!
Thanks for the good wishes. Ink - that was plain water in the cup :-)
Any thoughts on the tuteur?
That's a very fetching outfit, Woody! My best wishes too.
I have some thoughts about tuteurs. Not that I'm clear on where tuteurs end and obelisks begin. But either way, I am always bothered by the fact that they are so often designed with narrower tops than bottoms; the plants are invariably fuller at the top and to me that is where their support structures need the width.
As triangular tuteurs go, I do like yours because the ribs have a visually widening effect, it sort of offsets the narrowing at the top.
But I prefer the ones that widen at the top, not always because they are prettier, which they may not be, but because they look to me to be more logically designed for the task. Below is a link to a site with a variety of designs for comparison.
And here is a photo of one that I have, snapped tonight despite it being dusk:
As it happens I have been thinking clematis lately too, but most of mine have to climb up the fence. I've been serial shopping from one Homesense to another because they have an extraordinary selection of wire/wrought iron wall art, most of which is suitable for outdoor use though apparently designed for indoor (in one case I had to change the backing on a mirror). Funnily enough, there was also a tuteur in stock that I paused to look at today, one that is triangular but topped with some sort of a round navigation/sundial type thing. Unfortunately I wasn't making $146 decisions today but rather more smaller ones. The little white edging piece is another Homesense find - may not go just there.
Here is a link that might be useful: Structures
... and another thought on yours is that many of them have far more bars than a plant really needs. Yours looks about right in that regard. It's actually nice to be able to reach a hand in to tuck errant strands, or at the bottom to pull a weed.
Karin - I have the same problem re tuteur vs. obelisk - as near as I can tell, tutuer is a trellis struture, shaped like an obelisk, for training plants and an obelisk is a four sided stone structure rising to a point. In that case, what I have drawn is a tuteur. My biggest problem is that most tutuers are too short for the plants after a few years. The one I have drawn is 8'2" tall. I would like to make it 9-10' but it would rise above the iron arbour more than I'd like. I also want build two wooden column-like structures of white painted wood and narrow copper pipes to place in the narrow bed along the garage. They would be used to support the clematises that are currently growing among the hydrangeas there. This is where I get into the question of whether there's getting to be too much 'stuff' in the area. I need to do more playing around to finish the drawing for the columns and attempting to do a mock-up of what it would all look like.
In a way an obelisk is just a glorified teepee like the one mel described on the fairy thread and three or four bamboo poles will support a clematis as well as an expensive wrought iron number. Part of the decision must be based on how it will look in the bareness of a Canadian winter and this is where the expensive wrought iron number might win out. What you intend to grow up your structure is also a factor, what do you mean specifically by "vines"? Karin makes a good point about the ideal shape and an obelisk being the opposite to the ideal, the clematis supports sold at garden centres are fan shaped with the wide bit at the top. You may also want to look at the way the plant you are attaching grows and that it may twine rather than grow straight up perhaps a tuteur more like a Helter Skelter would work better. One last thing clematis are not self clinging and depending on the type might look best if attached to your support on the way up and allowed to fall back over it with the flowers. meaning it will be top heavy. I may have to explain that a bit further so let me know, my brain is in need of a spring clean, can I borrow your turban when you are done with it?
Ink - the turban hit the garbage Thurs. a.m. and you definitely would not want to borrow what was under it! :-)
Winter appearance is certainly a big factor pushing me in the direction of the iron as is the presence of other iron structures in the bed where it would go. The iron pieces are sized small enough for the clematis to cling to the diagonal bars with their leaf petioles. I would be happy if the clematis reached the top and tumbled down. I am concerned that a fan-shaped stucture in iron would be too top-heavy to be stable, but I'll see if I can come up with some alternaves.
This is a crude - very crude! - mock up of where I want to add things. The white pillars/trellises are in the bed along the garage. The bed is mostly white hydrangeas with a tall white viburnum at the driveway end. My goal, by putting the tall climbing frame at the opposite end, is to create a flattened U shape with the plants and the trellis structures. Is it too much 'suff'?
Oh that makes sense, that obelisk refers to the solid shape. So when referring to a metal structure it's the wrong term.
I like the placement of your tuteur above. Not clear on what the white bars are... but since you've still got a lot less "stuff" than I have, it looks fine to me. I actually find I can bear the mess of my winter garden better when there is some hard structure or colour among the debris (I often put pots in my beds too).
As long as a top-heavy structure has a bit of width at the base and/or spikes on the bottom, it can be expected to stay upright most of the time. It doesn't catch much wind after all. I might not put it where it can fall into a window though.
I have an iron tutuer that I love...wish I could get another exactly like it. Unfortunately, the shop where I purchased it went out of business. But this may give you some ideas...perhaps you've a friend who welds?
And a closer view:
That help up quite well through lots of wind and weather...until I let Buff Beauty get too top heavy:
Then a storm took the whole thing over. I'm still waiting to see if BB is going to make a comeback.
With a clematis it should be fine.
Woody...hope you heal quickly. Don't get too frustrated if your recovery seems to take longer than it should...and don't be afraid to ask for/hire help.
Melanie: I don't want to make you blush but yours is the kind of energy that has been missing from this forum for quite a while. The boys be gone aren't they and the job is seasonal (?) isn't it? So come by more often.
I love that garlic head on the top of the tutuer! I remember Mario having lots of catalogs of interesting do-dads. If I go the tuteur route, I'll have to see if he has something like that. (Recovery already seems 'old'!)
Ink...thank you. The boys are gone...and we are heading back into the season...but not there yet. SOON. (We got the blueberry bushes in on Tuesday. Ouch.) I dunno...I pop in now and again but I've not felt I had much to add to the discussion. I'll try to be more diligent.
Last summer...while I was lettin BB's roots recover...I planted a moonflower vine on the tuteur...It got a little TOO vigorous...
But I really like it on that tutuer. If bb doesn't make it back...I may just plant moonflower vines on it every summer. It certainly smelled like heaven in the evening.
Hey Mel this looks like one of those 'Provide the caption' contests. The poor guy with his head down can only be Mr Mel.
"hey Jack, is there a golden goose down there?"
I too was wondering about where certain folks gotten to; I was blaming it on the winter :) - good to hear you are on the mend.
I like that the tuteur reflects the style of your house as well - it has simple clean lines and isn't overly fussy.
Ink...that is, in fact, Mr. Mel. He is looking at an open moonflower.