Trellises, arbors & pergolas add support & pizzazz to your garden

February 28, 2017
path through garden in Buffalo NY

You walk underneath the pergola to move from one section of this lush yard to another. This is the landscape of Gordon Ballard and Brian Olinski, which has been shared during Open Gardens. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

 

by Connie Oswald Stofko

Trellises, arbors & pergolas can be practical— they provide support for a plant— but they can do so much more.

They can become focal points and gateways, and they can give you something pleasing to look at when the plants they hold have gone dormant.

So what is the difference among these three garden structures?

  • A trellis is often a latticework.
  • An arbor creates a tunnel-like passageway or a shady area– another meaning of arbor is a shady recess formed by tree branches.
  • Pergolas usually have pillars and cross beams or a rooflike structure. A pergola might cover a sitting area.

Gardeners in Western New York display a variety of these, ranging from elegant structures to quirky DIY projects. Take a tour of just some of these to get ideas for your own garden this year.

Click on the photo to see more images from that landscape.

Entranceways

archway and gate in Tonawanda NY

This view is from the backyard looking out toward the arbor. I visited the home of Jim Aichinger and Tim Kuntz during the Night Lights portion of the Ken-Ton Garden Tour. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

 

arched arbor in garden in Lockport NY

I visited the landscape of John Taylor and Mary Brennan-Taylor during Lockport in Bloom. John built the arched arbors in the yard, which he says will support four times the weight supported by arbors that you buy. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

 

trellis Parkside Garden Tour Buffalo

Arbors don’t have to be in the backyard. Patricia Lang from the Parkside Garden Tour is framed by the arbor on her front path. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

 

Seating areas

Klubeks in Williamsville under pergola

On the Williamsville Garden Walk, Linda and Jaime Klubek told me they enjoy entertaining. This pergola defines a lovely seating area. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

 

backyard room in Buffalo NY

Greg and JoAnne Hudecki shared their yard during the Samuel P. Capen Garden Walk. They were inspired by a trip to Italy to create this outdoor room, complete with a roof-like structure, in their backyard. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

 

Include your garage

grape arbor over garage door in Buffalo NY

Lyne and Ken Richmond built a grape arbor on their garage. They shared it on the Samuel P. Capen Garden Walk. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

 

pergola in Hamburg NY

At the home of Marg Rust, seen on the Hamburg Garden Walk, a pergola attached to the garage creates a covered walkway. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko.

garden outside pergola in Hamburg NY

The covered walkway along the garage is hidden from view by the flowers climbing up the lattice at the home of Marg Rust. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

 

 

Focal points

pergola in Amherst NY

A natural slope creates a terraced effect in the backyard of Darryl Moden and Chuck Hidy. They take advantage of it with features including a Medina stone wall and steps leading up to a pergola that serves as a gateway to the top tier. Their landscape was on the Amherst Garden Walk. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

trellis in grassless backyard

A pergola with hops is at the center of the grassless backyard at the home of Valerie and Anthony Hotchkiss. Their landscape was on Garden Walk Buffalo. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

 

wedding arbor in Hamburg NY

A neighbor had her wedding ceremony in this garden at the home of Julie Anderhalt, who shared her garden on the Hamburg Garden Walk. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

 

 

Support your veggies

trellis for vegetables and lettuce with notch in Hamburg NY

This trellis can open and close. The supports aren’t nailed to the main part of the trellis; the trellis just rests in notches in the supports, which allows the gardener to lift the trellis to better reach the lettuce for harvesting. Vining plants– and the trellis itself– can shade the lettuce, which likes cooler temperatures. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

Jim Tammaro with heirloom tomatoes on trellis in Williamsville NY

Jim Tammaro of Williamsville built his own trellis to support his four-foot-tall heirloom tomatoes. He ties the vines to the trellis with rags. He also tied the trellis to the fence for extra support.

raised garden with door to harvest yams

This large wooden container garden was made by Dan Cadzow to grow Chinese yams and bitter melon. The vines grow up the trellis made of twine, which is attached to the wooden slats of the pergola. Cadzow discovered that when twine gets wet it contracts, and it pulled the bottom slat away from the arbor, so make your lattice a bit loose. When it’s time to harvest the yams, you can open the door on the front of the container to get at the yams, which are underground, without disturbing the other plants. This was displayed on Garden Walk Buffalo. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

 

Quirky & DIY

bike wheels used as trellis

Bike wheels are used as a trellis to support vines in the backyard of Elaine Clutterbuck, whose landscape was on the Parkside Garden Tour. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

bamboo trellis on Parkside Garden Tour

Melissa Maldovan made this simple trellis using bamboo and that twist-tie material you can buy on a roll. She shared her landscape on the Parkside Garden Tour. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

double trellis in garden in Buffalo NY

If you need a slightly larger trellis or just want a slightly different shape, try this heart-shaped trellis. Take two trellises that are curved on the top. Instead of inserting them into the ground straight up, insert one at an angle to the left and the other at an angle to the right. Use a couple of bungee cords to hold them together. You have a heart-shaped trellis. This tip is from Jennifer Guercio of Buffalo. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

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2 Responses to Trellises, arbors & pergolas add support & pizzazz to your garden

  1. Linda on February 28, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Thank you for all the lovely ideas.

  2. Donna on February 28, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    Nice photos and examples for the post.

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