Designing a Garden Trellis


A trellis is a vertical fixture for landscapes or gardens that provides structure for plants and vines like climbing roses. It can come in a variety of materials, shapes and sizes, and can be personalized for each gardener's tastes. Before building your garden trellis, it is important to design it to your own style and landscaping needs.

Step 1

Decide what type of trellis you want, such as themed, simple, classic or noticeable. Consider what style or message your garden sends out, and match the trellis to that. For instance, a classic style uses criss-crossing wood for ivy vines. Position several small trellis fanned out on a wall or painted as a design. Or go with an Asian-inspired design, using the properties of feng shui and zen.

Step 2

Figure out what size trellis you would like for your garden. Factor in the plants you want to grow on it. You can build a trellis in any size; one standard size sold at nurseries is 5 feet by 5 feet. Light plants that grow slowly don't require a sturdy or heavy trellis. For heavy climbers and vines that grow rapidly, you should have a sturdy, wide trellis.

Step 3

Decide what material you want to use for the trellis. For sturdiness, consider cedar or pressured-treated wood. For lighter weight, consider bamboo or vinyl. Copper and iron also can be turned into a trellis. Keep in mind you will need to seal the trellis every few years to protect it against weather wear.

Step 4

Draw or your trellis design on paper with a pencil, so you can erase and add elements as much as you life. Flexibility will help you decide on the size and style and help with the placement of plants.

Step 5

Consider the finish of the trellis--if you want to add color or stain. Paint the trellis to match your garden, shed or garage or paint it green so it blends in with the plants. Add embellishments like fake butterflies or hummingbird feeders.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil


  • The Landscape Design Site
  • Online Tips
Keywords: design a trellis, trellis ideas, garden decorations

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.