privacy screen

ljszone5July 23, 2011

I would love feedback on an idea I am tossing around. We really need some privacy from a busy road/sidewalk near our house to enjoy our patio. Eventually I will plant a small tree in the side yard. As a quick fix, I was thinking about hinging together 4 or 5 framed trellises. At HD for $18.00 each, I can buy cedar trellises that are 21"x 72"

There would need to be some kind of feet to stop it from tipping over but maybe when I am there I can figure it out.


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linda_schreiber(z5/6 MI)

As a quick, short-term fix, this will work. Figuring that this will not be a permanent fixture. This is far from pro-design advice. Just a little been-there-done-that advice.

First, if the eventual plan is a small tree, and the short term plan is four or five trellises each 21" or so, then you must have more plans in the works to deal with the rest of the span..... Or you will have.

Second, if it were me, I would go with the trellises for now. And I would expect that they would be there for at least a few years, as things develop.

They need more than 'feet'. And as temporary, casually-installed fixtures, hinges may not be the best bet. They may need to have a little more 'flex' to them to give them the longest life, unless you are looking at planting heavy vines up them.

They need fairly deep-sunk poles. If they are in the direct line of prevailing winds, they need heavy-ish ones. If not, I've found that 5' rerod or metal garden poles work. Sink the poles 2 1/2 to 3 ft, and wire the upper portion to the base of the uprights of the trellis.

Halfway up the trellis, and again at the top, wire the trellis sections together. This allows them more flexibility than screwed-in hinges will, and can prevent cracks and breakage of the wood trellis as things get wet and weather.

I have a similar kind of thing that has lasted for almost 9 yrs now. Because it has been working so well, I keep putting off this area in preference to others that need more work.... When this 'temporary' fixture starts falling apart, it will jump closer to the top of the priority list [grins].

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 8:33PM
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Thank you for taking the time to write.
You really think poles are necessary? It is going to be sheltered from strong winds by out porch and garage. I am reluctant to dig into the stone patio. What about making the feet really heavy?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 10:15PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Ah, they're going to be on the patio, then Linda's excellent posts won't work. Build some sort of a triangular contraption to make a base. Heavy isn't the point; it's to make the base wider. THEN you can put sandbags or something heavy across the feet.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 12:24AM
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linda_schreiber(z5/6 MI)

Actually *on* the patio, not next to it... That's different. And yes, karinl is correct. I would go with wide. If there is room, you also could put narrow planter boxes or pots along the span to provide the weight needed for stabilization of the trellis 'feet'.

Even if there isn't room, I would go with the wider triangular bases. And I would still recommend the wire rather than hinges or screwed in plates, unless there is a reason why one panel needs to be a 'doorway'. If so, hinge that one.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 8:50PM
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I remember a post with a privacy wall made of large pots with trellises mounted in them. Then vines were grown in the pots to climb the trellis. They had used 4x8 vinyl lattice on posts with 2 pieces of lattice attached to each post that was sunk in a large pot, that had to have some kind of cement or something in bottom of pot to hold post?? Not sure how. They were very attractive and gave privacy. I have done a search but can't find it. There were pictures in the post. I hope you can get a vision of what I am describing or someone else can find the post.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 9:23PM
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I actually remember the pot/screen idea but cannot remember if there was a picture.
Tell me more about wiring the sections together...
There are frames around each panel, should I wrap the wire into the lattice openings or drill holes for the wires?
The only reason to have hinges is for flexibility of position and storage.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 11:31PM
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linda_schreiber(z5/6 MI)

Re wires, simple and easy. Since you are not dealing with heavy vines and heavy winds, just use standard wire (Even 'twist-tie' material can work because of the plastic coating. It's thinnish wire, but the coating takes much of the wear over the season).

You want to just wire the outside frames together, through the lattice openings, at top, middle and near-bottom. Fairly firmly, but not too tight. Leave wire-room for them to flex some with the wind. Also leaves flex for repositioning.

For storage, just get out the wire cutters. Snip, snip, snip.... you have individual panels to stack in the garage, or wherever.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 7:57PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Or zap straps!


    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 9:05PM
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I answered on other forum with rebar which is what I used. You say your porch, is it wood, could you attach tops to the porch roof & stabilize at bottom with planters or 1 of other ideas above.GJ forum had some very heavy planters that were just beautiful. They were 12 in stepping stones 4 placed in a square & adhered with something & then set on bottom stepping stone, all instructions were included.They then painted them & not only are they going to last forever but they were beautiful. Sometimes the square stepping stones are very cheap. $1 each so for $5 plus adhesive stuff & spray paint you have a wonderful planter & could adhere an eye in top corner to run wire through to hold bottom of trellis in place. It came back up 3-4 months ago, will see if I can find what it was called. Oh, way they are attached around bottom there is drainage so things will grow just fine!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 11:47AM
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Found it. Go to Garden Junk forum & at bottom click on 16 & go down 16 posts to 1 I wrote as my GF wanted to make some. She is very happy with them. Name of post is "What Happened to Stepping Stone Planters" They painted them with Patio craft paints(Joanne's or Michaels). But you could spray paint them any color but I liked the richness of paints they used, looked like they cost a fortune & will be around long after a $6 pot you get at a store.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 12:01PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)
    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 1:03PM
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Update: I had my husband pick up two of these trellises on his way by HD tonight. They are very sturdy for the price although the reddish color is sorta funky--like red mulch.
We tied two loosely together with wire to see how they would look and...the holes are too big and don't actually screen out anything :(
Next attempt will be to try larger sections of lattice and frame them ourselves.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 7:03PM
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