Introduction

pyramid trellis installed in a beautiful yard filled with plants and flowers
Photo: Roger Foley
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Whether you call it a pyramid, an obelisk, or a tuteur trellis, this distinctive garden structure is a hallmark of cottage style. Trellises have a long history of supporting climbing and vining plants, and the tapered, freestanding version shown here remains a fixture of many an English garden, where it gives clematis and other flowering climbers a sturdy platform and a chance at sun. But we wouldn't fault you for using a trellis in a purely decorative way, either.

Whatever your intention, you can find plenty of trellises at plenty of prices at garden centers. If you go that route, pick a model that's sturdy and not too tall to maneuver so that you can haul it inside in the winter. Alternatively, you can build one yourself without too much fuss.

To make our pyramid trellis strong, lightweight, and weather resistant, we used ½-by-2-inch strips of cedar (they may be stocked as lattice at the lumberyard), which can be left unfinished. You can customize yours by adding more pickets or crosspieces, or by varying their positions. You can even nix the tricky cut-to-fit cap in favor of a store-bought post cap or finial if you sub in a nailing block. However you customize it, the finished product is sure to provide a fresh focal point.

Western red cedar obelisk, $134; Rustic Natural Cedar Furniture Company

Download a cut list to build this pyramid trellis.
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    Tools List

    • circular saw
      Circular saw
    • miter saw
      Miter saw
    • pneumatic brad nailer
      Pneumatic nail gun
    • hand clamps
      Clamps

    Shopping List

    1. ½x2-inch cedar strips
    to make the four sides

    2. 4x4-inch cedar post
    to make the finial3. -inch nails
    for the nail gun