This is a design that is more original. I think I saw a plant/vine holder that looked like this and/or something to dry your laundry on that looked like this which could fold. Even doing this much, though, was enough for me, and I definitely wasn't going to even attempt to make it fold. It's sturdier than the other one, and because it doesn't need to be "planted" into the ground, the legs probably won't rot off as easily. ;) Like with the other trellises, screws would make it sturdier, but I used nails because that's what I had, and it's a little bit easier. So, substitute as you see fit. As with the others, I place the heavier/thicker branches towards the bottoms and the thinner/more lightweight branches towards the top.
Mock Folding Trellis
4 Thick "X" branches-- as straight as possible
Length: 40" Diameter: 2 1/2"
4 Thin "X" branches
Length: 40" Diameter: 1-2"
4 Thick Short Cross Bars--as straight as possible
Length: 42" Diameter: 2 -- 2 1/2"
4 Thin Short Cross Bars
Length: 42" Diameter: 1 -- 2"
5 Long Cross Bars--as straight as possible
Length: 60" Diameter: 2 -- 2 1/2"
1 1/2", 2", 2 1/2", and 3" nails
Maybe some garden wire
Drill, varying drill bits, hammer, and saw
1. Take 2 Thick "X" branches, cross one over the other at the middle so that the bottom of the legs are about 30" apart and the bottom to the top measures about 30". Twirl the branches around until you find the best fit. This will make the first end piece. The measurements do not have to be exact, what's more important is that the two end pieces are nearly identical. Drill 1-2 pilot holes and nail them together using medium-large nails.
2. Place a Thick Short Cross Bar over the bottom of the "X" about 4-5" above the bottom. Drill 2 pilot holes on each side and nail medium-large nails in. Do the same with the top Thick Short Cross Bar. You can use garden wire to reinforce the branches/keep them in place as you're nailing it together.
3. Cut the bottom pieces of the "X" so that it will be flush with the ground when stood upright. Now you have your first end piece.
3 a. Follow steps 1-3 for the second end piece. You can place the second over the first for measurements to make sure that they are nearly identical.
4. Lean one end piece against something so that it is basically upright, or have someone hold it for you. Place the other one about 50" away. Place one Long Cross Bar across the two so that it hangs over the two end pieces evenly -- about 3" on each side. Hold the other end as perfectly upright as you can and drill pilot holes and nail it in. Do the same with the other end piece.
5. Nail in a Long Cross Bar on the other side, then one in the middle and two on the top.
6. Thread a Thin "X" branch over and under the top, middle, and opposite bottom long cross bars whichever way fits best approximately 17" (in other words one third in) in from the end piece and nail it in.
7. Do the same with another thin "X" branch in the opposite direction to for an "X". Place a Thin Short Cross Bar across the bottom of the "X" hanging over the two bottom Long Cross Bars and nail it in. Place a Thin Short Cross Bar over the top of the "X" and nail it in.
7 a. Follow steps 6-7 for the last "X" which should be placed about 1/3 in from the other end piece--approximately 17" in from the end.
Drill pilot holes and reinforce any areas that seem to be weak. Ta-daaaa. :)
SpringChicken asked me to share my expertise on making trellises with trees form your backyard. I wouldn't really call myself an expert, but I'll share what I know. ;) I basically got this first design from the book "Making Arbors and Trellises." It is a wonderful book with many excellent designs using tree branches, but mostly real wood. It also has a design for a simple teepee trellis. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to learn more about making arbors and trellises. I got my copy at the library, so you may be able to find a copy at your library as well. These homemade trellises made of tree branches from your backyard are probably not good for heavy perennial vines such as grapes, as they are lightweight and rot faster than regular trellises. In fact, one of the "legs" that I "planted" last year rotted off, so it's only 1/2 as sturdy this year. ;) I have used mine for annuals such as cucumbers and sugar snap peas.
The dimensions that I give are the ones that I used, but you can certainly change them to suit your needs/preferences. As you can see form my own trellises, the actual size and shape and placement of the wood can vary quite a bit. And remember, you can always cut the wood down, but it's a lot harder to put it back together, so estimate high, especially for the zigzag pieces. I drilled pilot holes for the larger nails and thicker wood so that the wood wouldn't split and the nails would actually go through. A pilot hole is a hole that is a little bit smaller in diameter than the nail/screw. As a general rule, place the heavier, thicker parts of the wood towards the bottom and the lighter, thinner sides towards the top. Ideally, use exterior nails so they won't rust as fast. More ideally, use screws rather than nails, which hold together better, but I used nails, because it's what I had, and it was a bit easier.
Basic Square/Rectangular Flat Trellis, with optional fan top
2 "leg" branches
Length: 45" Diameter: 1-2"
3 Cross bar branches
Length: 50" Diameter: 1- 1 1/2"
10 Zigzag Diagonal branches
Ranging in sizes from Length: 21" -- 36" Diameter: 1/2" -- 1 1/2"
1" nails, 1 1/2" nails, 2" nails, 2 1/2" nails
Maybe some garden wire
Drill, Hammer, Saw
For fan top:
1 curved "green" branch
Length: approximately 52" Diameter: 1" - 1/2"
5 fan branch pieces
Diameter: 3/4"- 1 1/2" Length: ranging from 13"-15"
1. Set the two "leg" branches on a flat surface approximately 43" apart. Place the 3 cross bars over them approximately 10" apart from each other leaving about 3-4" over hang on each side and about 20" of "leg" on the bottom, and 2" on top. Drill pilot holes as necessary and nail them in, starting with the bottom piece, then the top, then the middle, readjusting as necessary so that it is square.
2. Place 5 zigzag pieces over the structure diagonally, adjusting until you have a pleasing design. Drill pilot holes as necessary and nail them in where the branches overlap.
3. Flip the structure over and place the other zigzag pieces diagonally going in the other direction. Drill pilot holes as necessary and nail them in.
4. Cut off the excess zigzag pieces at the bottom so that they are straight across and will be basically flush with the ground when you "plant" the trellis. Cut off the excess top pieces if you want it to look neat, or want to put on the fan top.
Note: My trellis without the fan top is actually a little bit taller, because I know I wouldn't be putting on a fan top.
5. "Green" wood is wood that has been cut from the tree no more than 24 hours earlier. Green wood is flexible and can be bent into shape without breaking. The thinner the wood is, the easier it is to bend. Willow is one of the most flexible woods. I don't have willow trees, but if you do, you could probably use a thicker piece of wood that I did.
Bend the wood from end to end to make sure it will fit. Nail the thicker end in first and reinforce with garden wire if necessary. Nail the other end in.
6. Flip the structure over and add the fan pieces, starting with the middle one and work you way out. Cut them down to the correct size as you work. Reinforce with garden wire as necessary.
Voila! Be forewarned that if the branches that you used for the legs of the trellis are freshly cut that when you plant them into the ground they may start growing leaves as mine did last year. ;)
May 8, 2008 | 11:33 AM PST
Well, the thread in the forums about unfinished projects prompted me to at least "finish" taking some pics of the mural which I have started but not yet finished in the front entrance. As you can see, there are still a lot of flowerless spots in there and bits of tape that I never finished removing. Perhaps this year I'll have enough beautiful flowers plus the motivation at the same time to actually finish. I still have to finish painting a bedroom, so that will have to take priority. We'll see. ;)
Here's the blueberry patch that I've been working on so furiously for the past 6 months. As you can see, I've refined the design a bit, and it's looking better. It will look even better, I believe, as it grows in, and I get everything else planted in there. My neighbor gave me some hostas which I at first planted in that little corner, but have since moved as it was too sunny for them there.
Here's the flower garden with all the daffodils that my mom planted years ago. They have multiplied and filled in quite nicely over the years. I planted some crocuses in there too last fall.