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As part of our yard renovation this year we wanted to make the most out of every inch of space. This DIY trellis project along our fence was the answer for this difficult area.

The small size of our yard, and my plant obsession, means we needed to look for vertical solutions to create the most impact. Trees are one way to add vertical interest, but with our neighbor’s palms and an already shady space, trellises made the most sense.
 DIY trellis project
There are lots of options for trellises and I highlighted several HERE. For this part we decided an inexpensive, easy DIY trellis was just what we needed. I am going to cover it with plants anyway!

DIY trellis materials:

  • I purchased this 3′ wide welded wire fencing from Home Depot.   Clearly 50′ is way more than I needed, but at just over $35 for the roll, this was still an inexpensive material for three trellises.
  • I already had a box of metal staples to attach the wire directly to our our existing wood fence. I think staples are a great way to attach this and even if they go in crooked (never!) you won’t see them at all.
  •  Good wire clippers to cut each panel. I finally invested in a good pair and it has made my projects so much easier!
  •  Plants to climb the trellis.

    DIY trellis installation:

    I began by measuring the length of fence to cover, finding the middle point and starting with that trellis. It was easiest for me to start here and then measure equally for each of the others.
    I cut the wire panel fit the distance between the two lateral boards on the fence. Starting on the on the upper board, I used the staples to attach the top of the panel. I used 4-6 staples on each panel, probably a little overkill but it was easy to attach.
    DIY trellis project DIY trellis project
    The bottom of the wire panel was pulled into place and attached. I didn’t stress too much about getting it extremely tight and a little bit of a bow doesn’t bother me at all.
    DIY trellis project
    I moved on to each of the other panels without any problems. In total, this DIY trellis project took me about an hour to complete. Not too bad, right?
     DIY trellis project
  • Trellis plants:

    Oh there are so many options!  This is really the hardest part!
  • DIY trellis project
    I took two ideas for consideration: 1) attracting pollinators 2) looking good. With this in mind, I decided on an Aristolochia vine that would match on the two outer panels and would also attract the Polydamas and Pipevine swallowtails.  Rather than A. gigantea that is pretty darn aggressive, I found a smaller species that would work perfect here.


For the center panel I went a little bit crazier. I came across a Gold Finger Vine, Juanulloa aurantiaca, and just couldn’t resist. This is a much woodier vine and takes more training than the Aristolochia. Gold Finger Vine, Juanulloa aurantiaca
As you can see here, in the past few months these plants have taken off. And I’ve even found Polydamas caterpillars on the Aristolochia!
DIY trellis project
For a simple way to make the most of small spaces without much cost, this DIY trellis project turned out pretty well, don’t you think?
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