Trellises and Pergolas

A garden trellis consists simply of some thin battens joined together with nails, and so is not a very sophisticated structure. It can be knocked up in under an hour, but once in place and decorated with a selection of climbing plants it can completely transform a garden space. A pergola is very similar to a trellis but is more of a garden feature in its own right than simply a rough-hewn frame for supporting climbing plants. It too is simple to build because all you need are a few simple tools and basic woodworking skills. You can buy trellises at garden centres but it hardly seems worth doing this when they’re so easy and cheap to make for yourself as a very basic but effective and satisfying garden DIY project.

Trellises vary from the simple lattice of slats that you buy from a shop and screw directly to a wall, to freestanding screens with arched tops, doorways and corner posts that have decoratively carved finials. If you want to make your own instead, all you need is a drill, saw and hammer. If your aim is to create a stunning decorative addition to the garden, a trellis is the obvious answer.

A pergola is capable of transforming a patio into an exciting area that resembles an extra room in the garden rather than an outdoor paved space. The patio will feel more solid and designed, and a real part of the house. Once it has been draped in attractive foliage it immediately becomes a shady, beautiful retreat and a sort of oasis on hot summer days.

The secret to making a successful trellis or pergola lies in the plants you choose to decorate it with, and climbers are the natural choice. Choose evergreens with feature leaves, perennials with feature flowers or fruit and annuals with scented flowers for the best effects.

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