Trellis screening for narrow side yard?

sergeantcuffSeptember 27, 2011

I have a narrow side yard on the NW side of my house. The back has a privacy fence. Providing privacy between my front porch and that of the neighbor's is a very old, 15' tall stand of lilacs that I want to remove.

I have thought about building a few 6' trellises and hinging them like a folding screen (I am interested in vines), but cannot imagine what that would look like against the property line, disconnected from the back privacy fence and the front shrub border. I don't want it to seem like a hostile gesture.

Looking towards back. Privacy fence is the neighbor's, and is right against the property line. The small holly at right is on my property.

Thanks for any thoughts


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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

Based on how vines will grow on a trellised screen I think you might have problems with the screens being on a hinge.

In regards to the feelings of hostility. I don't have any comment except to say that people erect fences and screens all the time and usually it works out just fine.

To integrate the new screen in with the solid fence , it may work out best to pick out some of the same architectural elements from the fence and repeat in the trellis structure, as an example use the same post detailing and height.

Personally I am bored to death with off the shelf lattice. I know it is very affordable and can look good, but I'm over it and if one can find it in their means to create a different lattice style pattern then I think that can really set your craftsmanship apart.

Check out the trellis work on Pete Pedersen's website under the heading details : LINK -

The photo below is off the shelf lattice with some custom details. It still bores me to death but often times you have to work within a budget. If I/ the client had the financial means to augment the design I would interjected some different size ( custom ) lattice layouts. - but these days, we all know that budget takes front row and you have to do what you can afford and ultimately like.

From September 27, 2011

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 1:57PM
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Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. I see your point about visually connecting the trellis to the neighbor's privacy fence. But it would physically be feet away and not really anchored by anything? Your examples seem so formal I am wondering if my idea would look silly.

I do not need a solid wall of privacy - the lilacs were perfect for my purposes (except they don't bloom due to not enough sun/too warm and they get powdery mildew). We are not that skilled so something more this style would match ou abilities and the style of our gardens but is nothing like the fence and is inside a garden rather than on the edge:

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 10:47AM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

I don't think it would look silly as long as the quality of the craftsmanship is good and the proportions are right.

You'll never know until you try. You could always make some cardboard cutouts to see how the proportions work.

Give Walpole Woodworkers a google. I haven't checked them out in years but they used to have a pretty good decent stand alone trellis section.
There might be some ideas in there for you to browse.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 12:15PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

I put up a trellis on the side property line that is shaped basically like a giant badminton net. My purpose was to get some shade in the yard, and for that I needed the bulk of my vines up high, so I got 12 foot posts; with those sunk 3 feet, the apparatus is 9 feet high. DD might approve since I did not use standard lattice but rather a metal grate that I had lying around :-)

What might be helpful in what I did is to evaluate just where you really need screening; at what height. Build to that height, and then train the vines to it.

For what it's worth I love love love those green units in your picture; I think it is brilliant to put them on an angle and they read as yard art, not a barrier. I have seen something similar done with staggered units, but all parallel.

I personally wouldn't worry too much about matching your neighbour's fence. I can see where DD is coming from on this, and where, if you do a professional installation you would want design consistency among all elements. But I wouldn't want to be limited by my neighbour's aesthetic choices.

Karin L

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 1:24PM
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My 2 cents...I agree with Karinl that matching the neighbor's fence is not critical. I think compatibility and craftsmanship is. I like the green screens you posted, too. By the "hinged" arrangement of screens, if you meant having them like accordion bellows in almost almost open position--like zigzag--that does not strike me as nice as the way the green screens are arranged parallel, but staggered. I agree with d-d that there is nothing "off the shelf" that is worth anything...(unless it's very high dollar specialty merchandise...not retail.)

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 5:59PM
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