DIY: Garden Trellis

One of the things Justin and I were most excited about when purchasing our new home, was creating an outdoor setting that felt lush and serene. Throughout our travels, we always stop to admire homes covered in flowering vines situated among the most unreal landscaping, and longed for the day when we would have the opportunity to create a little oasis of our own. What must I give up to have my very own master gardener on hand?

We knew we wanted to grow something on the side of our house, we just didn’t know how. Once we began researching we were surprised to find there was very little information on building trellis’ and training vines. So, Justin and I put on our garden hats and figured our how to create a jasmine wall that literally won’t stop growing!

Below is a foolproof guide on how we created a simple and incredibly beautiful garden trellis at home.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

*Use masonry nails if installing wall against a brick surface (like we did). They are built for anchoring into the mortar of brick joints and offer more support. Eye hooks are ideal for softer materials such as wood and siding.  

Step 1: Picking the Right Plant/ Why We Chose ‘Madison Jasmine’ 

The key to success for your trellis is picking the right plant for your desired location. It’s important that you first consider the climate and light conditions before making your purchase; you’ll want something that will survive the winter but also endure the summer. Garden centers are great at helping to identify regionally appropriate options and ones that are best fit for the characteristics of your garden/ home.

You’ll want to choose a plant within the ‘vine’ family. They’re stems are super flexible, and can be guided and trained to grow on vertical surfaces; A great option too for those wanting instant results (👋).

When making our selection we knew we wanted a flowering vine. While we loved wisteria and climbing hydrangeas both are deciduous plants (looses it’s leaves seasonally). Madison Jasmine on the other hand is an evergreen vine that produces clusters of creamy-white flowers that bloom 5-6 months out of the year (April to mid-June with lighter flushes throughout September depending on your location). The exterior of our home is a white-washed brick and makes for the perfect contrast against Madison Jasmine’s dark leaves.

Tip: Choosing a mature plant that already has long tendrils will give you a head start.

Step 2: Decide on Your Pattern

Vines can be used many ways: around tree trunks, atop arbors to create natural shaded spaces, as ground cover in place of grass, shrubs or mulch, or in our case, for pure aesthetic. As it relates to a vertical lattice, which is what we created, we chose a “Belgian Fence” (or crisscross) pattern. The crisscross pattern lends itself well to vines and is very simple to layout (We’re still patting ourselves on the back for that one). Other options to consider are: checkerboard, arbors or full coverage.

Step 3: Space Out Your Pattern, Measure & Mark 

Once you’ve settled on a pattern mark, measure and install the structure of your trellis. I’ve included step-by-step instructions below.

  • Determine the overall width of your lattice. Using marking chalk (A temporary, fast-drying tool for marking grass), mark the ground where the two ends fall.  Then measure and mark the center of the ground between those two ends (You should have a total of three marks).

  • Using a hammer, install one masonry nail into the wall six inches above where each of the three ground marks were made. Leave half of the nail exposed as this visible portion is where you will eventually wrap the galvanized wire for the entire structure.

  • Next determine the desired height of your structure. Using a laser-level, measure and install masonry nails into the wall directly above and in-line with the three bottom nails (Just to give you a general idea, ours is 8 feet high).
  • Measure and mark the center of the height between the top and bottom nails on each side – install one nail at those marked spots (these are nails 2 and 6 in the “Step 4” diagram below).
  • There should be a total of eight nails. 

Step 4: Install and Secure the Galvanized Wire

Please refer to the below diagram.

  • Starting at nail number 1, take the raw end of the galvanized wire and wrap it several times around the nail in a clockwise direction. Using the remaining few inches, secure the wire in place by wrapping it back around itself (Do not cut any wire).

  • Taking the spool of wire, pull it tightly and extend to nail number 2. Wrap it several times around the nail in a clockwise direction.
  • Continue extending and wrapping the wire in a clockwise motion for nails 3 through 8 and from 8 back to 1 (Again, do not cut the wire).
  • Start creating the crisscross design by taking the wire from nail number 1 and extending it to nail 5. Wrap the wire twice around the nail in a clockwise motion.
  • You can now CUT the wire. Secure the remaining few inches in place by wrapping it back around itself.

Please refer to the below diagram. 

  • Starting at nail number 7, take the raw end of the galvanized wire and wrap it several times around the nail in clockwise direction (Do not cut any wire).
  • Taking the spool of wire, pull it tightly and extend to nail number 3. Wrap it several times around the nail in a clockwise direction.
  • Leaving a few inches, you can now CUT the wire. Secure the remaining few inches in place by wrapping it back around itself.

Please refer to the below diagram. 

  • Starting at nail number 8, take the raw end of the galvanized wire and wrap it several times around the nail in clockwise direction (Again, do not cut any wire).
  • Taking the spool of wire, pull it tightly and continue extending and wrapping it in a clockwise motion from nails 2 to 4, 4 to 6 and from 6 back to 8.
  • Leaving a few inches, you can now CUT the wire. Secure the remaining few inches in place by wrapping it back around itself.

Your final pattern should look like such…

Step 5: Plant & Entwine Your Plant

With your wires in place it’s time to plant! Place your plants close the wall and in a position where it can easily reach the lowest point of your structure. For our trellis, we used four, three gallon Madison Jasmines vines planting one beneath each outside nail and two underneath the center nail. Take each tendril and wrap it around the galvanized wire.

Tip: If your plant needs a little extra help staying in place you can use garden ties.

Step 6: Water & Grow

Water as necessary according to the plant/ vine chosen. You will need to encourage new growth to follow your pattern by gently wrapping it around the wires. Fertilize using liquid Miracle Grow once every two weeks.

Phew! What was a relatively easy task to assemble deemed itself somewhat challenging to describe. But, alas, we made it! Hopefully this guide makes it simple for you to create a beautiful garden trellis of your own. If you have any questions whatsoever, please leave them in the comments section below or email me at taylorrae@stylesouffle.com. This post was unlike anything I have shared in the past on Style Souffle, so let me know if you would like to see more DIY’s, an inside scoop on interiors or anything of the type!

Happy DIY’ing,

TR

 

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