Introduction

How to Build a Trellis
Photo: Kolin Smith
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A wall covered with climbing vines may benefit the fairy-tale suitor who scales it to reach his true love, but in the real world the twisting tendrils will wreak havoc on your house's siding. Better that you create a buffer between the foliage and the facade with a garden trellis. Not only will it provide the plants with a more appropriate host, but it will also give you something better than a blank wall to look at when summer's greenery fades. Here's how to turn lattice fencing and 2x4s into such a three-panel focal point. Put it in place, and invite your garden to new heights. Just don't extend the invitation to any Prince Charmings.

Cedar lattice and lumber from Woodway.
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    Tools List

    • circular saw
      circular saw
    • speed square
      Speed square
    • straightedge guide
      straightedge
    • combination square
      combination square
    • chisel
      chisel
    • hand saw
      handsaw
    • drill
      drill/driver
    • two-foot level
      2-foot level
    • post hole digger
      posthole digger
    • 7 foot digging bar
      digging bar
    • pointed shovel
      shovel
    • tamper
      small hand tamper

    Shopping List

    1. Cedar or pressure-treated 2x4s for the frame. Keep in mind that two adjoining trellis panels will share one vertical frame piece.

    2. Cedar or pressure-treated 1x1s for the stops that hold the lattice.3. Cedar or pressure-treated lattice fencing comes in 4-by-8-foot sheets. If you're building more than one panel, get both straight and diagonal lattice. 4. Cedar or pressure-treated 2x6—to cap the tops of the panels.

    5. ¾-inch gravel for drainage in the postholes. Four 50-pound bags will be enough.

    6. 1 5/8-inch self-tapping deck screws

    7. 3-inch self-tapping deck screws