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Types of Trellises

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Types of Trellises

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Trellises come in several types, designs and sizes to complement any garden style. Vinyl trellises are usually white, green or brown, although other colors are available. They are long-lasting. Wooden trellises made of durable lumber, such as redwood or cedar, and left to weather to a natural color require less maintenance than stained or painted trellises. Wrought iron trellises are long-lasting and need little care. Aluminum trellises resemble wrought iron but are lighter, and copper trellises acquire a pleasing patina over time.

Arbors and Pergolas

Wooden arbors and pergolas provide architectural interest to gardens and offer support for plants such as roses, wisteria and other heavy vines. An arbor has two side panels that support a straight or arched roof panel. It is typically set over a walkway, and the vines grow up the side panels and across the roof panel. A pergola is a simple structure of columns topped with an open framework that provides space for seating. Vines twine around the columns and along the framework of the roof.

Upright Trellises

An upright trellis provides a vertical accent or focal point in flowerbeds or along walkways. It is the best type of trellis for lighter vines, like morning glories or nasturtiums. Upright trellises are freestanding and usually are anchored with metal pins to the ground to prevent them from blowing over. An obelisk trellis--shaped like a three-sided pyramid--usually is made of wood or metal. A teepee trellis--shaped like a cone--commonly is made from tree branches, bamboo canes or lumber.

Flat Trellises

A flat trellis is appropriate for heavy vines, such as roses or wisteria. Gardeners will find flat trellises made of vinyl or wood lattice, or metalwork panels that are square, rectangular or triangular. Freestanding flat trellises divide areas of the garden or block unsightly views. Flat trellises add visual interest to blank spaces when attached to walls or fences. A variety of plants and vines grown in a planter box with an attached trellis adds beauty to patios or decks or in areas with poor soil.

Keywords: trellis types, trellis designs, pergola, garden obelisks, teepee trellis

About this Author

Melody Lee worked as a newspaper reporter, copywriter and editor for 5 years. In addition, she has edited magazine articles and books. Lee holds a degree in landscape design and is a Florida master gardener. She has more than 25 years of gardening experience, which includes working at nurseries and greenhouses.

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