Alternatives to wooden garden trellises
Having a conscience about being environmentally friendly whenever possible can have an effect on the way we decorate the interior of a home, and the way that we manage the garden.
Sticking with custom
The garden has always been seen as a conventional place by most of us, with the focus being on what to plant. But the garden should be viewed more as an extension of the home, an outdoor room, which needs furniture of its own.
A few Italianesque style statues, a bench, a table and chairs, perhaps even some gnomes! These have been the usual garden furniture. Trellises, of course, have also played a part, but they have usually been bought from a garden centre, and consequently all look much the same. What better way to make use of unwanted items and enjoy the opportunity to be a little creative, than crafting some homemade and truly original trellises.
Creative furniture for the garden
It is undeniable that trellises are a useful prop in the garden, but why do they always have to be made only from wood? Have some copper pipe lying around? Then fix the lengths together to create a shiny and attractive framework that will need practically no maintenance. The copper will weather nicely, over time attaining a greenish patina that will look quite natural and be quite at home in the garden.
A ladder no longer fit for purpose would make an excellent trellis. Just cut it down to the correct size and attach to a wall or fence, or just stick a freestanding ladder where the plant is to grow. Plantation shutters would also work extremely well. These have the advantage of being available in a wide range of uniquecolours and finishes, so they could even be colour coordinated to suit the look of the garden. A single shutter could be attached to a fence or wall, or several of them could be fitted together to create a freestanding trelliswork. They would also work well as places to hang potted plants.
More unusual trellis creations
For those who do have a lot of old junk lying around the home, or perhaps those who enjoy scouring reclamation and salvage yards looking for hidden treasures, some discarded household items would also work well as trellises. An old-fashioned iron bedframe attached to a wall or fence would work. Even large chains, strung and hung together, would provide a great framework for growing plants. Old window frames could also be used, grouped together to create a more open trelliswork, or wire baskets left over from the kitchen cupboards.
How about using three or four bicycle wheels fixed vertically to a post to make a trellis? A wrought iron garden gate would also do the trick, as would the ribcage of an old-fashioned shower, circa 1920, that had jets of water spurting from horizontal tubes.
The main thing is to be imaginative in the garden. With a little thought some more unusual items can create points of interest while also serving a practical purpose.
Four tips to get your garden ready for winter
After a summer that saw the UK enjoying some very pleasant weather conditions, it’s arguable the low temperatures anticipated this winter will be even harder to take. This might mean it’s necessary for you to wrap up warm and do what you can to prevent < situations like burst pipes indoors, but it’s also wise to think about your outside areas too. Here are a few tips to help keep your back yard in tip top shape:
Protect your plants
A frosty morning can be lovely to look at, but such conditions can prove disastrous for your plants due to the damage it causes to the cell wall. Therefore, it’s worth thinking ahead to minimise the risk of problems. When possible, give tender plants a little extra protection by placing them in a sheltered area, such as close to a wall or under shrubs or trees. It’s also worth growing tender plants in pots so they can be moved indoors in bad weather. Make sure the containers you use are frost-proof too, or else you might find they start to crack.
Store your equipment away
If you haven’t yet moved garden furniture and equipment inside now’s the time to do so. Whether it’s your table and chairs or a watering can, frost can cause all sorts of issues so it’s worth making the effort now to reduce the chances of you needing to pay out for replacements later.
Clean your gutters
While it might not be the most glamorous of jobs, giving your gutters a good clean out is well worth doing. Scoop out any leaves and other debris as it can halt the flow of water, which can cause it to sit and ultimately freeze. It’s also a good idea to invest in some gutter guards to make this less of an issue in future. Make sure you’re not suffering from blocked drains too and remember to think about how best to prevent them.
Do repairs sooner rather than later
If you spot a potential problem it’s best to deal with it as soon as possible. Poor weather conditions are only likely to make things worse and if – for example – that wobbly fence blows over on a windy, snowy day your task is likely to be a little harder. So make the effort now and save yourself a job later.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
John McCrae, May 1915