yellow climbing roses growing up trellis

The Wonders of Garden Trellis

Trellis not only looks attractive in its own right; it is also the perfect way to train and support climbing plants. This allows you to create a uniquely beautiful garden fence or add interest to an otherwise-unremarkable outside area.

Sometimes referred to as lattice, trellis makes a wonderful addition to any garden.

Here, we discuss the many benefits of using garden trellis, explain how to erect a trellis panel, and reveal our six favourite climbing plants to grow up your trellis fence.

The Benefits of Using Garden Trellis

Trellis is a must-have feature for all gardeners, along with anyone else who takes a pride in their outdoor space. Here are some of its benefits…

runner beans growing up trellisTrellis Maximises Garden Space

As trellis trains and supports climbers, you can indulge your love of plants by growing them vertically as well as horizontally.

You can also display them in previously inaccessible areas of your garden. This could include the top of a fence panel, the back panel of a planter or against a brick wall.

Forest 6' x 3' Pressure Treated Europa Hamburg Decorative Garden Screen PanelTrellis Fence Panels Improve Natural Light and Aeration

Unlike conventional fencing, trellis panels allow natural light to filter through the gaps in the fence run, improving natural light and aeration in your garden, benefitting your family and plants alike.

Even when adorned with climbers, a trellis fence still ensures more natural light and better aeration than a standard fence run.

a man erecting a trellis panelTrellis Disguises the Unsightly

Trellis panels make attractive garden screens, perfect for disguising unpleasant sights, such as wheelie bins.

Furthermore, many climbing plants produce exquisitely-scented flowers, whose fragrance can mask unpleasant odours coming from elsewhere in the garden.

Trellis also adds a touch of glamour to the ordinary. Can you think of a better way to break up the monotony of a boring brick wall than by attaching a trellis panel, decorated with some of nature’s finest flowers?

Forest 6' x 1' Diamond Lattice Trellis Fence TopperTrellis Toppers Add Height to A Fence

Trellis toppers offer an attractive way to increase the height of your fencing, improving your garden’s privacy, security and aesthetic appeal (more about how to attach them later).

Security, you say? Yes, after all, a trellis topper supporting a prickly climbing plant presents a difficult obstacle to any would-be intruder.

Rowlinson Marberry Obelisk Wooden Garden Planter 2'x2'Trellis as A Garden Partition

Garden arches and obelisks with trellis designs are elegant ways to mark a favourite spot or compartmentalise different areas of your garden.

This is because trellis complements, rather than dominates, a view.

For those of you with a really creative streak, certain trellis structures can even be used to play with perspective or bring out particular themes within a garden’s overall design.

7 x 4 Rowlinson Dartmouth Wooden Garden Swing SeatTrellis Helps Create the Perfect Garden Hideaway

Whether forming part of an arbour, gazebo or homemade structure, trellis decked with climbing plants not only has unbeatable aesthetic appeal and a captivating smell, it provides complete privacy and a very special garden hideaway in which to relax.

How to Erect a Trellis Panel

If assembled and looked after properly, trellis panels will remain a much-loved feature of your garden for many years to come.

a convex trellis fence topperAdding Trellis Fence Toppers

Firstly, ensure your fence panels are in sound condition. If they warp or bend when you pick them up, chances are they’re too weak to support a topper, let alone a climber. A sturdy panel is a must.

Secondly, you will need to increase the height of your existing fence posts. Attach U-brackets to the top, middle and bottom of the inside of each post extension, using screws. Slot the topper into place and secure it with further screws.

Attaching the topper is far easier when it’s a two-man job. Ask your friend to hold everything steady while you carry out the work.

Remember to use galvanised screws in order to prevent rust from developing and ruining the fence run’s appearance. 

Trellis toppers make a wonderful addition to fence panels. Discover more great fencing accessories here.

Forest 2' x 6' Heavy Duty High Decorative Fan Wall TrellisAttaching Trellis to A Wall

For this job, fix wooden battens to the wall using plugs and screws. This creates a strong framework on which to fix the wall trellis.

Choose battens that are no wider than the trellis so they remain hidden from view. Fix one at each end of the panel, as well as one horizontally across the middle if you’re using a large panel.

Make sure the battens are pressure treated. This will save you the tricky job of having to treat or replace them once the climbing plant has started to grow.

The battens perform the function of holding the trellis away from the wall, leaving a suitable gap for your climbing plants to grow. Without that gap, they will simply flop forwards.

A healthy gap also allows air to circulate properly, which prevents the plants from developing fungal infections.

Finally, remember to plan for the size of a fully-grown climber. Newly-planted ones are usually small, lightweight and unlikely to do any damage. However, a fully-grown rose or wisteria can pull away poorly-fixed trellis from the wall and destroy inferior-quality wood.

Forest 6' x 4' Heavy Duty Square Garden Trellis Fence PanelTrellis Fence Runs

Erecting a trellis fence run is no different to a conventional one, but to use it to support and train climbers you need to plant them carefully.

Dig the planting hole 12-18 inches (30-45cm) away from the fence panels with the top of the root ball on the surface of the soil. Clematis benefits from deeper planting (more about clematis in a bit).

With or without the addition of climbing plants, a trellis fence is a beautiful sight. To discover other types of decorative fence panel, read our blog devoted to them here.

Our 6 Favourite Climbing Plants for Trellis

Using trellis to help train and support climbing plants is a superb example of how a manmade object can help nature flourish.

There is a wonderful array of climbers available. Here are six of our favourites:

purple clematis growing on wall trellisClematis

Clematis is extremely versatile and very easy to grow. The main varieties produce an abundance of blue, pink, purple or white flowers, with scope for interest the whole year round.

For the best results, plant them during spring or early autumn, in a sunny spot, but ensuring the roots are kept shaded and moist.

Prune clematis annually.

climbing red roses growing on trellisClimbing Roses

Roses are another versatile climbing plant.

There are a huge variety to choose from, in a myriad of colours and shades, with many producing exquisite scents.

Grow climbing roses in fertile, moist but well-drained soil; in sun or partial shade; and then water generously throughout the summer to watch them thrive.

Shrub roses are an excellent choice for trellis obelisks.

star jasmine growing up wall trellisStar Jasmine

Another wonderfully-scented climbing plant, star jasmine is elegant, evergreen and produces dazzling, white flowers throughout the summer months.

The rich, green foliage turns to bronze in autumn, adding further interest.

Star jasmine is a good choice for wall trellis, providing it receives plenty of sun.

Once flowering is over, be sure to prune.

wisteria growing on wall trellisWisteria

An inspired choice for a trellis arch or garden pergola, wisteria is an energetic climbing plant, which can send out shoots up to six and a half feet (2 metres) long in a single season.

You should plant wisteria between autumn and spring. It enjoys fertile, well-drained soil and a sunny aspect.

Water it well, prune in January and July, and then enjoy fragrant, springtime flowers, year after year.

honeysuckle growing on a trellis fenceHoneysuckle

Easy to care for, honeysuckle helps promote that cottage garden feel.

Climbing honeysuckle needs room to grow. Plant in moist, well-drained soil, in a partially-shaded area of the garden, for stunning blooms throughout the summer, followed by red berries in autumn.

french beans growing up a trellis panelClimbing Fruit and Vegetable Plants

Okay, we know we’re cheating by lumping all of these options together, but vertical gardening deserves a special mention.

Growing fruit and vegetables up trellis is a great way to maximise your available garden space and is less labour-intensive than conventional gardening.

Furthermore, as the plants enjoy better aeration, they are less prone to disease, providing you with a more bountiful harvest.

Tomatoes, cucumbers and pumpkins are just some of our vertical gardening favourites.

Garden Trellis for Sale

Forest 6' x 6' Heavy Duty Square Garden Trellis Fence Panels

As the new Home of Fencing, Buy Sheds Direct stocks every conceivable type of fence panel and fencing accessory.

Of course, we love them all equally, but if we were to single out just one to beautify your own outdoor area, it’s trellis.

Choose from our superb range of garden trellis now!

To speak to one of our trellis fence experts, click here.