Pri­vacy-pro­vid­ing trel­lises all the rage

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - By Mairi Maclean

ED­MON­TON — Give me an ar­bour, give me the trel­lis’d grape, poet Walt Whitman once wrote. We heartily agree. The hum­ble trel­lis and its cousins (the obelisk, the per­gola, the ar­bour, the ol’ bean pole) have en­joyed sup­port­ing roles in the gar­den for mil­len­ni­ums. And they’re big mul­ti­taskers. As well as of­fer­ing a struc­ture upon which plants can climb, spread and drape them­selves, they pro­vide pri­vacy, dap­pled shade on a scorch­ing day, a way to mark off dif­fer­ent ar­eas of the yard and es­thetic pos­si­bil­i­ties.

Trel­lises can be a big part of a deck as well as the look and feel of a gar­den’s ar­chi­tec­ture. They also run the gamut from dead sim­ple to highly elab­o­rate and from in­ex­pen­sive to pricey. The lat­tice news Wooden lat­tice is an af­ford­able, pop­u­lar trel­lis ma­te­rial that’s get­ting a makeover in 2010. The new trend is to­ward a hor­i­zon­tal con­fig­u­ra­tion, rather than a tra­di­tional checker­board pat­tern on the di­ag­o­nal or up and down. This look is more mod­ern, very clean and re­fined, and does not nec­es­sar­ily in­clude vines and other climb­ing plants.

How­ever, it you have a tra­di­tional house, you’re go­ing to use a tra­di­tional lat­tice. If you have an English-gar­den style, mod­ern lat­tice will seem out of place. New takes on screens There’s now a much wider range of ma­te­ri­als used in gar­den screen­ing, such as glass in a frame. This could be frosted or coloured, and might also be artis­tic glass, which is stained or pat­terned. Even mir­rors, which can make a gar­den look big­ger.

An­other new theme for screen­ing and plant sup­port is fenc­ing made of wil­low. It rolls out and it’s made of lit­tle pieces of wil­low bound by wire, six feet high and eight to 10 feet long. Stick this be­tween two pieces of wood and you end up with a very full screen. You can’t see much through it, and it’s a very nat­u­ral look.

Free-stand­ing bam­boo screens are an­other op­tion this year. These are ba­si­cally good-sized pieces of bam­boo lashed to­gether with string. You could stand them up against the back of a con­tainer, or put a num­ber of con­tain­ers in front and have them grow all the way up.

As for obelisks and other struc­tural pieces that can be placed in con­tain­ers or at ground level to mark the corner of the veg­etable plot, there’s a wider ar­ray of styles and sizes each year. Think fan trel­lises, think rec­tan­gles with half cir­cles on top, some­times in dec­o­ra­tive glass.

While they’re not an off-the-shelf item, con­sider us­ing fabrics as screen­ing in the gar­den — a sturdy type of ma­te­rial hung with dow­els, for ex­am­ple.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to ideas for novel gar­den struc­tures. You could use a screen that’s Ja­panese, like a shoji; it could be bam­boo or have el­e­ments of bam­boo. A por­tion of the screen could be wooden lat­tice; there could be a place in the mid­dle for a mir­ror or a vase. Plants that screen Don’t for­get that plants them­selves make great screen­ing ma­te­rial. Along with climb­ing vines, grasses are con­sid­ered ar­chi­tec­tural plants. Hedges have long been used as screens and de­mar­ca­tions in the yard but they’re used more in blocks rather than rows in con­tem­po­rary set­tings.

— Canwest News Ser­vice

This nat­u­ral-look trel­lis does dou­ble duty as a fence.

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