Ideas for materials to make a trellis

sudimari(z5 IN)March 19, 2009

I'd appreciate ideas on "trashy" materials (things folks might have laying around they'd be willing to give to me through Freecycle locally) that I could make into a trellis for my patio. It would be propped against a wall behind a medium sized plant stand...I'll have to find a way to weigh it down so it won't topple in the wind because it can't be fastened to the wall. This will be my first project "creating" something for my patio gardens. In the past I craft-painted a small birdhouse to be a fairy house. In fact I have a new one (very rough wood so it needs sanded and sealed if I'm going to use craft paints) that I need to get around to painting.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey Suz-

Things that I have seen on Freecycle that would work well as a trellis:

Iron fence panels
wooden gates
Chippy lattice
bamboo tied with jute rope
Old shutter
Willow branches tied together
baby bed rails
old wooden ladder painted to a pop color or chippy white
old rake or pitch fork
old fire screen
old wooden window with glass removed


    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 10:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The easy way to 'tie down' a trellis like you
mentioned is too buy a few metal fence posts,
drive them into the ground and wire your trellis
to them. That's what I did with my box springs.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 11:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sudimari(z5 IN)

Thank you for the ideas!

Unfortunately nonacook, I didn't explain it would actually be sitting on concrete...the plants will be in containers in the plant stand. We aren't allowed to plant in the ground's SUPPOSED to be landscaped...HA! So I'm thinking sand or rock bags tied to whatever I use, with the plant stand in front of it. The plant stand is black "iron" work type...thinking maybe morning if I go wood maybe a bright yellow would pop the color...hmmm....


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 8:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Chain link gates offer great trellis'! The outside frame pipes are open and hollow at the bottom. I have one that covers my eyesore of a AC unit in my back flower bed. I planted two rebar and slipped the gate onto them to make it stand up by itself. ( A bedframe or head/foot boards work. I think maybe an old bakers rack would work as well. I also have an umbrella trellis that I put up every summer (now for this will be the third year). I have a PVC pipe bracketed to the outside of a raised flower bed that the umbrella skeleton slips into. I added some tree wrap protection (hard plastic that snaps around the bottom of young trees) up the pole to add "something to grab onto". Hope I've offered some good ideas too. :-)
Love, Jules

Here is a link that might be useful: Umbrella Trellis

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 9:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you are using poles to anchor your trellis on, cement them in a bucket or flower pot or some sort of container. Then tie your trellis material to the poles. That should make them heavy enough to hold your trellis & still be free standing.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 5:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The bottom part of a metal windmill, and they are also free standing.
You could put it over the pot that your vine is growing in.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 9:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It sounds like you might be better off thinking in terms of topiary rather than trellis. If you can find some sort of obelisk shaped thing that would stand in a pot on its own and then wind your vine around it. A simple tomato cage comes to mind. Below is one of my favorite sites for metal garden stuff. The picture is kind of what I had in mind using a tomato cage. You might have to add additional support in the way of a length of rebar in the middle of your planter with maybe wire connecting the cage to it. I'm not sure if something like this would work in your planter without seeing a picture.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wrought Iron Topiary with Birds

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 11:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sudimari(z5 IN)

Okay, maybe seeing what I'm talking about might help...although I'm getting lots of ideas and my creative juices are flowing! Here are two pics of the patio and the wall I'm wanting to color up.

The vining plants will go in the wrought iron like plant stand against the wall. Then hopefully trail forward & down and climb back & up whatever I create as a trellis. Right now there are chairs being "stored" there (until landlord calls anyway)...not sure what I'm doing as far as seating yet.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 12:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Does your plant stand seperate or is it all one piece? Also, do you get sun all morning through about noon? I want to say that that is a south facing wall? For one I can see a big piece of cattle fencing (rectangular shaped thick heavy duty metal) propped up against that wall about 8-10 feet tall but it would definitely be wider that the iron planter you have. If the planter speerates you could place one center and one of either side of the wall and have the vine growing up in spaced distances to cover a wider trellis. Otherwise a long narrow stip of fencing would work great. OR you can get a spring boxwire mattress to lay upright too! Now IF you have larger pots (like that holds between 5-10 gallons of dirt then those would be used to secure the posts of a trellis.

Hope this helps.
Love, Jules

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 1:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sudimari(z5 IN)

Actually the wall is facing North, or is on the south side of the patio. The plant stand is one piece. Although...I can always place other planters to help spread out the vine...but right now I only have the little plastic tables to put them on so that wouldn't really give much weight. The overhang shades that area fairly early say 10:30, but its still bright although indirect sun until around noon.

I have a lead on a freecycled metal gate...chain link, 32"w x 58" h. The owner said about 30 lbs. We'll see if I luck out and get it (and can find a way to get it home! lol)

I don't have pots THAT large, but I still have 2 buckets from cat litter (40lb size) that could be wrapped in colored foil paper, or painted or something interesting.

I so appreciate all the ideas & input. Keep it coming...I'm learning tons in the process!


    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 3:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A chain link gate might work well. Especially if you painted it black to match the plant stand. Since you are interested in different chairs, don't forget to look for patio furniture on freecycle, especially if you have rich folks in your area. lol! They will give away great stuff just to have someone pick it up. And don't forget to look for curb sale finds too. Sometimes all they need are a good coat of paint and some cushions.

Over on the Balcony Gardening forum here, someone made a fishing line trellis so it was invisible. Below is a link to the post. You will have to scroll down to see links to Ruggy and angie83's pictures of their fishing line trellises.

Here is a link that might be useful: The cheap fishing line trellis :)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 9:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lunas idea got me thinking of "espaliers". Its a way of growing a plant and pruning it like bonsai but like a trellis (living art). It is a lot of work and patience....Here's the link (just copy and paste into your web browser):

Also though I think you will be well on your way if you are able to get the chain link gate. Your kitty litter pail can be painted (I don't know what kind of paint though).. Drill holes into the bottom for drainage and set either on a saucer or pot feet, fill with soil(if you plant directly into the pail) or sand for stability for your chain link gate "feet". When I put my chain link gate in i put rebar in the ground and slipped the end frame of the gate over the rebar. OOh ooh---try two nesting sized pails (larger one on bottom--smaller one of top" to heighten them for the rebar (deeper rooted rebar makes for securer gate)--each nesting pail would have soil or sand depending on if you plant directly in the pail (of course) so as to give it the height it needs. Do you follow me? :-) I'm on a brainstorm. ....Now onto the plant used....Ok, so is your patio on the north or south side. I didn't quite get your answer. Ok, well, I see you are in Indiana....I don't know what grows in Indiana....HELP! I was on a roll. :-) If morning glories grow there then YES, go for it! That is what I put on my umbrella trellis and it was AMAZING!!! Here's a photo of it all full on the UT.

Love, Jules

Here is a link that might be useful: Morning Glory

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 12:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There are paints specifically for plastic that could be used to paint the kitty litter pails. You could even bling them up with flat marbles along the edge where the cover fastens on.

A vine that I always wanted to try is the Kiwi vine (Actinidia kolomikta). It is hardy up to zone 4a but in our colder climate, it doesn't produce fruit (especially when there isn't an opposite sex plant to pollinate it). The leaves are green, pink and cream and the flowers are unimpressive visually but smell wonderful. It will grow in partial shade. It can grow as much as 6' per year. It sounds like something you'd need to plant in a larger pot like the kitty litter pails and it might eventually need a stronger trellis.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 2:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tennesseetrash(7 east tenn)

Materials I've used would include:

Cane, Wood, Old brass headboards & footboards, baby crib sides, metal/bamboo room divider, and other stuff I can't think of at the moment.

I started a thread on this subject recently, you might want to check it out too, some of the other GJers had good advice and ideas. Please post a pic of what you create! ~tenderlee

Here is a link that might be useful: Trellis thread tenderlee

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 9:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

you could build a wooden planter- oblong shaped, then fasten the trellis to it. this would work well with the plastic lattice which is lighter. if you go with a wooden planter you'd need to put "feet" on it to keep it off the porch. its a perfect place for a nice vine. good luck!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 10:09PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
msn garden junk-sad
As some of you know, MSN is closing! I am sorry to...
Changing landscape
We moved in 15 years ago. In the process of cutting...
Dehydrator trays
Does anyone have ideas for recycling food dehydrator...
Satellite dish
My first attempt at painting a discarded dish that...
Need to repurpose a leaking birdbath
Yesterday was one of the nicest days in ages; I could...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™