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string teepee trellisSometimes you find garden inspiration in the most surprising places.  These hand made string trellises were displayed outside of the Kaplan Orchid Conservatory in the heart of the Old Dominion University campus and I couldn’t have been more tickled with them!  Last fall Mike and I were able to go visit his family in Suffolk, Virginia and during our trip we went to a football game at Old Dominion University and as we walked through campus I certainly wasn’t expecting to see a greenhouse tucked in between the large academic buildings.

The conservatory was closed, but the beds and containers outside of the structure were really well done!  As we walked closer I started to notice the delicate and detailed string trellises that were around the conservatory.  I am guessing that these were a student’s hard work and I appreciate the painstaking attention to detail that each of these string trellises must have taken.  Each was a take on a unique spider web and was really impressive!

I think that this one is my favorite. Have you ever seen the “zipper” that a black and yellow argiope spider, sometimes called a golden orb-weaver, leaves on it’s webs?    trellis3Preview

spider web string trellis

I appreciate this one on the left too.  How neat is this?  It is one of those things that is so nice to look at alone that you don’t even want the plants to cover the structure!  While I am sure that these are functional, they certainly serve as a focal point too.  There were also several “teepee” types of trellises, which work really well in containers or if you don ‘t have a structure that a trellis would be connected to.




These students have me thinking and I am ready to try to imitate their form.  The supplies for this project are simple and relatively inexpensive: sting or jute twine and bamboo stakes.  I wonder if you could do a smaller version with copper wire? It would really stand out and probably last longer too.  Hmm.  More on that to come!

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