When you think of a trellis, your first instinct may be to picture a small-width, tall board with flowers. Well, you’re on the right path, but they are so much more than that. They also come in more than one design too!

Paint them, pair them with other garden features, and use them on top of fences to increase the height – there are plenty of unique garden trellis ideas to explore, which is exactly what we’ve done in this guide. Here you’ll find some well-known and not-so-familiar designs showing you the freedom you have when using a trellis in your garden.

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Garden trellis ideas for privacy

It’s nice to enjoy relaxing or gardening in your own outdoor space. Well, unless you don’t have a fence. For some, this can feel like an invasion of privacy. So, what can a trellis do?

Put up a beautiful trellis fence

A trellis fence is a brilliant way to add privacy to the garden without opting for a chunky wall installation. Better yet, you can place plants and flowers for a personal touch and further privacy since it will cover spaces in the trellis panels.

If you already have a fence, you could extend the top of that fence by putting trellis panels in place. Again, you can grow plants on it or leave it bare for a traditional country-style border.

Outdoor shower? Fit a partition trellis

Sometimes an outdoor shower can feel a bit cramped if surrounded by four blank walls. On the other hand, you may feel a bit overexposed without anything there. What’s there to do? Well, a trellis can act as a partition when two are paired together to create an L shape against the property. Perfect if your back garden faces a beautiful forest or wood area.

Forest Garden Heavy Duty Trellis 6ft x 6ft (1.83m x 1.83m) 3

Use a trellis to hide a shed

Want your shed to blend in with the garden aesthetics? You’re in luck! Fit a trellis panel to the sides of the shed and/or the door. From there, you can attach a climbing plant to grow around the shed or even attach hanging plants to beautify the trellis further and add more privacy to the shed.

Garden fence trellis ideas

An existing garden fence doesn’t have to be bare. In fact, you can do so much more with it when you decide to fit a trellis. From creating a new plant space to just decorating for the fun of it – there’s plenty of choice.

Forest Garden Premium Framed Trellis 6ft x 6ft (1.8m x 1.8m) 2

Add height to your fence with trellis panels

As we’ve said before, an existing fence can have trellis panels fitted on top of it to increase height and privacy. It also adds to that plain fence appearance by positively contrasting with the simple design.

Spice up your plain garden fence with a trellis panel

Trellis panels don’t just have to go on the top of the fence or be the fence itself – they can fit on the front of them too! It can deepen the design and enable you to place climbing or small hanging pot plants for a more enticing appearance.

If you’re concerned about limitations to design, don’t be! You could create many unique fence designs by working with DIY garden trellis ideas. For example, there have been designs that resemble anything from honeycomb patterns to large diamonds and so much more.

Forest Garden Traditional Trellis 6ft x 3ft (1.8m x 0.9m)

Garden arch trellis ideas

If you’ve got a path in the garden, an arch can be a beautiful way to separate one space from another. They can also serve as an entrance into the garden, too. Yet these arches can be quite complicated to build and less cost-effective in some cases. That’s where the trellis comes in.

Fruit and vegetable garden trellis ideas

How do you use a trellis for gardening? Well, in a lot of ways. Here are ideas for what you can do with a gardening trellis.

Fruit trees aplenty with a tall trellis

Never mind a partridge, you’ve got apples, pears and other fruit trees to grow! Remember how a trellis can benefit you for privacy? Well, with fruit trees, you can guide-grow the trees in a row to create the ultimate gardening area complete with big trees to add to the seclusion of your outdoor space.

Vegetables will benefit greatly from a trellis

A trellis is exceptionally important for vegetables that are part of a plant that likes to climb. Popular examples include runner beans and pea shoots that may trail the trellis when they grow to a specific state.

If you’re a novice to the trellis and its use with vegetable growing, don’t worry. If you’ve ever spotted a small structure sitting on the top of a plant pot or sleeper, that’s most likely a trellis being used to help the veg grow in the right direction (usually upwards).

Creative garden trellis ideas

Creativity comes in many forms and the ideas in this guide offer both creative and practical examples; it will all depend on what your project requirements are. though So, here are some extra ideas to get your creativity flowing.

Pesky climbing plant prevention trellis

Sometimes climbing plants can find their way to the main area of our buildings. They can weave their way into the brickwork and cause all manner of issues. You can avoid this, simply by putting a trellis in front of that brickwork so that it becomes a surface for the climbing plants to grow without affecting the mortar.

A trellis can turn that plain old background into a beauty

A trellis with a splash of paint can add colour to any outdoor space. You can play around with the design, too. Whether you want a standard panel or something shaped for intrigue, there are plenty of ways you can manipulate the appearance of the trellis to fit in nicely with your desired theme.

Something else you can do with a blank trellis is place tile inserts into the spaces for an even more impressive design. You’ll have to make sure it is fitted against a wall, so it’s not blown over by the wind and is easy to remove when the fence needs painting.

Forest Garden Heavy Duty Fan Trellis 6ft x 2ft (1.83m x 0.66m)

Adding accessories to the trellis

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to decorate your trellis is through accessories. One simple and effective example is hooks. With these handy accessories, you can easily hang plants, outdoor candles, sweet garden signs and even outdoor lights for a comfortable outdoor space.

One neat way to hang the candles especially is using colourful jars with handles or small lanterns for that vintage finish.

Just remove the panes of glass, making sure to use protective safety gloves and goggles to avoid any damage to yourself from the shards. Then hang it on a wall or rest in any area you like with climbing plants and watch them thrive.

You can also decorate the new trellis with some paint or wood stain to really make it stand out.

What is the best material for a trellis?

The most common options for trellis materials are wood and metal. These materials offer extensive durability compared to other materials (like plastic) and are more suitable for use in the making of the trellis.

Wood trellisMetal trellis
•Fantastic natural look for any garden.
•Common lightweight design.
•Suitable for easy fixing to small buildings (e.g. sheds).
•Wood will require treatment with preservation chemicals to safeguard against weather damage.
•Less resistant to wind.
•Typically requires a saw, sandpaper, hammer, screwdriver etc depending on your chosen wood type.
•Bold and modern design for a stand-out look.
•Common heavy, sturdy design.
•Steel tubes (if used) can be painted to protect against rust - no treatment is needed.
•If not painted, the trellis can rust when exposed to water vapour.
•Typically requires a pipe cutter and T-handle wrench to build.
•Less cost-effective than wood.

Despite the popularity of these two materials, plastic and even recycled trellis materials have made a step up in the industry.

Plastic trellisRecycled trellis
•Unique appearance compared to common metal and wood materials.
•Lightweight design that’s easy to move.
•Won’t rot like wood and won’t rust or corrode like metal.
•Can be flimsy (depending on the plastic) so not typically suitable for long vine plants or heavy fruits.
•Can be made from one or multiple materials.
•Fairly cheap or even free in some cases.

Forest Garden Premium Framed Trellis 6ft x 4ft (1.8m x 1.2m)

A trellis isn’t the only way to spice up the outdoor space. We’ve also got plenty of garden furniture design ideas, and ideas for those with small gardens too, to help you create your ultimate space for leisure and relaxation. We’ve also got fascinating guides on how to make your garden wildlife-friendly – be sure to check out our Help & Advice guides to help you turn your outdoor area into the dream space.

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