Gardening Trellises

Gardening Trellises: Purpose of Trellises

gardening trellisesTrellises come in various designs for supporting climbing plants. There are trellises used in agricultural for grape vines whose sole purpose is crop production. Gardening trellises have an added purpose. While they support vines and climbing plants, they serve as a design feature in the garden. Often, they are confused with another gardening device, the arbor. The difference in the two has more to do with function than structure.

Differentiating a Trellis from Other Garden Devices

Gardening trellises come in different designs, shapes and sizes. One type is a self-supporting framed structure, with internal connecting parts for plant support. They are made from wood, plastic, or metal. A single, flat frame, with lattice attached inside, is a type of trellis that attaches to walls as a screen, serve as an overhead device on arbors and pergolas, or attachments on the sides of garden gazebos. They are the structures on which a climbing vine is trained, providing support, air circulation, and direction while contributing to the garden’s overall design. Another attractive trellis is a structure designed over an entryway with an arched or flat top. In large gardens, several of these types of trellises lined up over a walkway provide shade and make a beautiful setting walk through.


Unlike arbors, the trellis’ function is limited to support for climbing vines and as a design feature throughout the garden. The arbor is a framed structure with its sides usually filled with lattice with a straight or arched overhead section, and seating underneath that is either attached or detached. Once the climbing plant has grown over the trellis, it provides shade for seating underneath. It is true that a trellis can be used as part of an arbor. However, the purpose of the arbor is for seating or resting in the shade under the structure. When viewing trellises and arbors from merchants online, it is easy to confuse the two. Some seats are constructed into the arbor, making its purpose clear. Others without built-in seats are designed to the adequate dimensions needed to accommodate separate seating. The structure without the seating is usable as both an arbor or as a gateway trellis. However, the width of the trellis should be in proportion to the width of the path or garden entry.


Variety of Gardening Trellises

Gardening trellises vary in their size, shape, construction, and materials. Many frames are made with wood. Redwood and cedar are excellent choices for durability. Their natural tannin content makes them resistant to insects, and both kinds of wood hold up well to moisture in the soil. Older wood, not containing sap will last longer. The wood can be used bare –  weathering naturally, covered with a stain, or painted.


Not all trellises are wood frames with lattice. Trellises made from bentwood, wood that is steamed or soaked to bendable form and then dried, can be constructed from saplings and twigs pruned from your garden. Though not having the durability of old wood, they are perfect for annual climbing vines, such as sweet peas. Gardening trellises are an excellent solution for keeping the canes of vine growing plants such as blackberries and raspberries in reasonable, supportive boundaries while keeping the fruit clean from contact with the ground. An ideal trellis for these plants consists of side supports constructed of wood and anchored to the ground with augers. Connected trellis wires can be tightened to keep the support taut. Eventually, the plants cover the wires, making it attractive.


Defining Trellises in the Marketplace

Many trellises use metal frames with the length of outer polls longer to insert into the ground for support. Some are fan-shaped, ladder design, or have decorative shapes. Often trellises designed with arches for walking through entryways or a series of lattices together along a path, are advertised as arbors. Sometimes, trellises are mislabeled as arbors by several sources, so do not let the labeling confuse you. The following trellises sold by Amazon give a variety gardening trellises to enhance functionality and beauty in your flower garden.


New England Arbors Waverly Trellis

The classic New England designed flat trellis is made of durable vinyl and comes with a 20-year warranty. Several other maintenance-free classic New England trellis designs are available at




Oriental Furniture Dark Stained Japanese Style Garden Trellis

This beautiful, rustic Japanese trellis is hand-crafted with kiln dried bamboo poles and wooden frame. Ideal for Zen gardens. It measures 41.2 inches high. Excellent addition to the garden for a vine covered barrier against a wall or to separate garden areas.



H Potter Italian Iron Garden Trellis Extra Large

Constructed of durable iron, this trellis gives the garden an Old World charm and elegance along with climbing flowering vines. It is 74 inches high and includes ground spikes, making the overall height 86″.



Dura-Trel 11174 Winchester Trellis, White

Made of PVC vinyl, this durable trellis will not peel, crack, discolor, or fade. Included is a wall mounting kit for attaching against wood, vinyl siding or logs. It is 100% maintenance-free and has a 20-year warranty. Its highest point is 96 inches tall. The product is reported to be strong enough to hold any vine or climbing plant. This feature is important if you want to grow Wisteria.



Plow and hearth Montebello Garden Arbor Trellis with Gate, Tubular Iron, Burnished Bronze Finish, 54 in W x 23 in D x 84 in H

Garden trellises are a beautiful way to enter a garden, and this one includes a gate. It is constructed of sturdy tubular iron with a burnished bronze finish, making it a beautiful entrance into any garden. Included are rust-proof hardware and ground stakes. It measures 84 inches high.


Exaco Calypso Planter with Trellis

Combining beauty and convenience, this planter with trellis has locking wheels making it easy to move and lock in place around the garden. The built-in water reservoir holds 2.5 gallons and has a moisture indicator. It has a double bottom and comes in three colors: gray, green, and white.


Gardman R361 Kensington Arch, 45″ Wide x 82″ High

This tressel is constructed of durable metal and covered with a black polyester epoxy coating, this green archway is weather resistant. At 82 inches high, it makes an attractive addition to walkways and paths for climbing flowering vines to cover. The horizontal bars provide structural support for plants.


Useful Garden Device

All of the items above are listed online as trellises, though some online items are called arbors, appear to be trellises. Either way, finding the garden device appropriate for your garden is the goal. The beauty and space-saving features of this garden device are many. Gardening trellises are great space-saving additions to small gardens. They bring organization and direction to the garden for everyone to enjoy its beauty.


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