I have this weird notion that I should not have to pay real money for certain things: rain gear, wicker, shelving, baskets, plastic storage bins, etc. It doesn’t really make any sense, and I recognize that. But it doesn’t make that feeling go away and so I avoid to great lengths having to spend real money on these items. And often times, they do end up dropping into my lap from some family member, friend, or free pile of junk.

One of these things I can’t pay money for are trellises. Your protests will be futile here – I know they are lovely, sturdy, and well-made. But I still can’t seem to fork over the $30 for one when I have a never-ending mound of wood sitting on the side yard.

Despite my bizarro, irrational thoughts on paying money for a trellis, I know I need several out back. They are great use in the stacking function of a food forest: getting things to grow up, and not just out. We have I-don’t-know-how-many-feet-of-6′-fence surrounding our backyard and it’s the perfect backdrop for climbing vines. I moved a jasmine out there a few weeks ago, hoping the fragrant flowers will eventually attract more beneficial insects to the backyard. We also have an old climbing rose emerging from the ground. Apparently it has been hiding, quietly biding it’s time, for the last year since I had no idea it was there until a couple weeks ago.

I’m not sure what is wrong with me, but without having had any coffee this morning I decided to undertake the building of some simple trellises. All in all, it took about 30-45 minutes to build two. Sure, there are some bent nails and things aren’t what they call “level”. But it does the job. The plan from here is to build about 3 more at some point in preparation for berry-producing vines that I will bring in over the next few months.

Just a quick recap on my process this morning, to demonstrate how easy this was, I first gathered all my materials which consisted of wood generally the same length. I laid everything out on a flat surface and arranged the vertical boards so they were fairly evenly spaced. Everything got nailed together quite simply. I nailed a garden stake to the middle board and hammered that into place, leaning the trellis gently against the wall. The rose pictured on the right was wrapped through openings and I will continue to train it over the next few months until it naturally continues that growth pattern.

My next big building project will be constructing a small greenhouse out of all these old windows. That will actually take some thought and skill, of which I have little prepared so far, and there will actually need to be framing involved. Surely someone out there has done it before and explained it on some distant blog, although what I have found out there hasn’t quite been what I am looking for. If you have any tips for me, lead the way friend!
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Written by Renee Wilkinson