Trellis screen, one year later

Trellis screen and crossvine after a year of growth

A year ago last spring, I built a simple trellis screen out of a heavy-gauge wire panel, three T-posts, and three cedar posts in order to separate the back patio garden from the kids’ play area. I particularly wanted to hide, or at least disguise, the view of the trampoline.

The Gardening Gone Wild folks recently invited people to write about their trellises and screens, so I included a link to the post I’d already made. Brian at Meadowwood Garden was kind enough to comment on it, and he asked whether I had any photos of the screen after the vine had filled in.

So Brian, this is for you. Here’s a “before” picture, taken on the day I built it.

In addition to the photo at the top of the page, here’s another “after” image, taken from the back (the trampoline side). The vine has filled in nicely across the top, though I should have done more threading early on to cover the midsection.

Tall yellow bells (Tecoma stans ) has shot up on the inside of the trellis, and it’ll be blooming soon; it doesn’t flower until late summer in my garden because it grows in the cedar elm’s shade. At the base of the trellis, blue mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum ) will also soon add to late summer’s show.

The trellis screen adds background to these plants, which were growing here before, and helps support some of them. As far as garden constructions go, this has been one of the easiest, most useful, and least expensive.

All material © 2006-2008 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

13 Responses

  1. Jenny says:

    Very effective. What kind of wire did you use as it looks to be a heavier gauge than the one we used- where did you get it? I like the curved look too but I imagine you were following the lines of the trampoline. Things do grow quickly in Texas!

    The wire is sold as “cattle panels” at Callahan’s in Austin. It comes in 10-foot lengths, as I recall. We curved it to follow the line of the existing bed, opposite of how the trampoline curves. The wire is not easily flexible, but it can be bowed with two people to hold it until it is tied to the T-posts. —Pam

  2. shirl says:

    Hey Pam, I too like that by using wire you can curve your trellis. Great idea! I could see lots of uses for this method of trellis – in a smaller scale too. Thanks for the additional photos – good job :-D

    The curve makes this trellis, in my opinion. And I agree that this style would also work in a smaller scale. In fact, before we decided to move, I was thinking of doing a low screen along the driveway bed. —Pam

  3. Ewa says:

    I love the construction – it is so much better to construct something using some available materials and do-it-yourself. Ready made trellis and pergolas make garden too similar.

    Good point, Ewa. I also liked using local materials in order to add to the regional, Texas-y look of my garden. —Pam

  4. Gail says:

    It’s a great screen/trellis Pam! It seems to me it could work in any number of settings and garden types. It does look great with the vines growing into it! Gail

    Thanks, Gail. With vine coverage, a screen like this can be opaque or veil-like, depending on how much you prune or the vine you choose. —Pam

  5. cindee11461 says:

    That really has filled in nicely! I like the idea of using the fencing to make the trellis too!

    It’s super easy, Cindee, which is rare with garden projects, eh? —Pam

  6. Lola says:

    I like the curve aspect of it. More dimension & character, with the added bonus of making a natural privacy screen.

    Curves are just more fun and pleasing to the eye. Don’t you agree? —Pam

  7. Diana Kirby says:

    Pam – what great before and after pictures. It must be so gratifying to see how successful your project was — both in hiding the play area and in creating a lovely backdrop for your garden area. I love that fencing wire with the wide squares — that’s what I used for my veggie garden fence, too.

    That fencing wire is wonderful to use in the garden for trellises and fencing—so sturdy and yet see-through, if you don’t want a heavy feel. I’m sure it must work great in your veggie garden. —Pam

  8. Thank you for posting this Pam! It looks amazing. Now that I see it filled in it looks like something like this is just what the doctor ordered for a certain problem area in my yard.

    As for cattle panel sizes — the ones I purchased from Tractor Supply Co. were 16 feet long by about 5 feet high. They were approx. $20 if I remember correctly. Some quick work with a pair of bolt cutters the panels can be customized to pretty much any size.

    Thanks again for taking your time to post these photos. Seeing this has definitely inspired me!


    My pleasure, Brian. I’m glad it looks like a useful project for your garden. Thanks for stopping by. —Pam

  9. I like seeing the before and after. Even though the vine doesn’t completely hide the play area, it gives a nice sense of enclosure to the sitting area.

    I’m glad you think so, Carol. Did you get a chance to sit there during the Spring Fling? I think you were too busy indoors and anyway the Ranters had that spot staked out. —Pam

  10. I can say from seeing it myself that it is very effective at not only screening the trampoline, but also drawing the eye away from the powerlines. I didn’t even notice them until I walked back there to see the shed.

    I remember how you were searching for ways to distract the eye from power lines, MMD. Did you incorporate any ideas into your garden this year? —Pam

  11. vanillalotus says:

    How wonderful! I love trellises and screens. Like how you created your own that is very simple and easy to do but it looks great all grown in.

    Thanks, Vanillalotus. I love easy ideas too, and I’m glad this one worked out as planned. —Pam

  12. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Seeing this reminds me of our chain link fence that I have planted vines on to try to make it go away. I am often out there threading the vines through the voids in the fence. It is finally filling in. I am pleased how it is turning out. I really like your inexpensive way of hiding the trampoline. It does seem a shame to build a nice wall or expensive fencing when you just want to have some green to fill the void. Good job.

    I had a chain link fence in Raleigh that I wove English ivy through, and it made a lovely fence all cloaked in green. That’s a good solution, Lisa. In my case, a permanent feature was out of the question since the trampoline won’t be with us forever. This trellis, which requires no concrete or masonry, was the ideal “temporary” solution. —Pam

  13. […] 2. Don’t put a focal point in front of something you’d rather visitors not notice, like a sagging fence, the neighbor’s unpainted garage, or a telephone pole. Look with fresh eyes at your garden to see these undesirable elements that have become invisible to you over time; taking pictures of your garden is a good way to get a fresh perspective. Screen these elements with plants or hardscaping like a trellis rather than placing a single eye-catching item, container, or architectural plant in front of them. (Photo: My former back garden) […]