How to Landscape an Outside Trellis


A trellis is useful for several reasons. Not only can it support large climbing plants or vines, it can conserve gardening space, create a privacy wall, act as an architectural element such as a walkway, or be used as a seasonal plant decor. A trellis can represent your personal style and coordinate with your house color or design. There are dozens of ways to landscape with a trellis, choosing one just depends on your space, budget and style.

Landscaping With the Seasons

Step 1

Plant seasonal produce or plants that correlate with the changes throughout spring to winter. For spring, plant items such as pole beans, delicate sweet pea flowers, raspberries, strawberries, or other bright foliage to climb up lattice trellises or a wall trellis. These plants will grow quickly to establish a wall while providing produce and flowers during the season.

Step 2

Plant summer crops on a trellis after the spring plants die back. Try using plants that have bright fruit or flowers, such as strawberry, melon vines, freesia, ginger, heather and hydrangea.

Step 3

Plant grapevines or pumpkin vines in the fall season. These have bright, large, fast-growing foliage that is very attractive and will thrive throughout the cooler seasons.

Step 4

Tear out the fall plants to plant vines for winter, such as winter jasmine, or Boston and English ivy. These are ideal for privacy walls as well.

Step 5

Weave lights or hang wind chimes on the trellis throughout all of the seasons to accentuate the trellis and foliage.

Adding Depth to a Landscape

Step 1

Train the plant leaves and vines to grow up over the trellis. This is the most common way to landscape with a trellis. Doing this can create a lush, attractive privacy wall, sides of a house or tool sheds, and conserve gardening room as well. Plant the vine or shrub next to the trellis and tie the branches or tendrils loosely to the trellis with plant ties to secure it.

Step 2

Use the trellis to conserve produce gardening room, such as for vegetables and fruits. It is important to secure the trellis at the back of the gardening bed so it doesn't shade any of the plants.

Step 3

Use an arbor trellis or create one to make an entryway or to border a walkway. You can even place two straight trellises about 3 to 4 feet apart and connect flowering vines and shrubs on the sides and over the top to create a canopy walkway. This can also act as a focal point in the garden.

Step 4

Design a trellis for privacy by lining up several evenly in a row and planting vines, flowers and any other vegetation that will thrive quickly to cover the trellis surface.

Things You'll Need

  • Assorted plants, produce and vines
  • Wind chimes or lights


  • Focal Points in a Formal Setting
  • Rods Garden: Fall and Winter Vines
  • Garden Structure: Garden Trellis Plans and Trellis
  • ACS Garden: Trellis Tricks
Keywords: landscaping ideas, landscaping a trellis, using a trellis

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.