A Home Inspector’s Weblog by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck

exploring homes and the lives in them around Houston

A Trellis for My Vine

This is probably one of the few times of the year that I really enjoy the weather in Houston. Cool mornings and warm afternoons seem to be good for the plants too. I already have tomatoes, and the peppers, peas, onions, herbs, and others have been giving me much to cook with.

Flowers are coming into bloom. My roses are giving off a light scent by my front door, but I am waiting for the jasmine. I wonder why more people are not allowing flowering annuals to grace their beds. I think that such blooms encourage you to spend more time out doors. My daughter is taking the flowers and strewing them across the den flower, so my wife is loathe to show her the brilliant blue clematis that just came into its own. One of my favorite spots is to sit under a canopy of bougainvilleas which I am training across some wires.

I think that vines can create some remarkable images in the garden by having them grow over entrances or patios, but I feel that many people believe that you need to go and buy a fancy trellis for this task. I have never purchased an arbor or trellis, since the vines will cover the structure any way. My jasmine is growing on tomato cages that have wires creating a ball on top. My wife saw a iron structure that created a mushroom like object for the vines to climb. It cost about $200 each. We made our four for around $20, and no one can see the structure the vines are resting on. I have made arbors from the prunings of my crepe myrtle tree, as well as other trees. I have run wires from the fascia of my house to a painted 1×2 board held up with galvanized tubes to have vines grow over a patio. I have even used parts from an old mattress to create an arbor. Usually, I paint everything one color: black. When the vines have not grown far enough to enclose my impromptu frames, guests only register black wires, so they do not take a closer look. Once the vines are mature, no one notices what is holding them up.

Be creative, and you may find that there is a way that you can cheaply create the framework and structures of your garden.


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