25 Trellises From Your Trash

Trellises are about as easy to come by as planters. Almost anything that’s upright and has a few arm-like features can be climbed upon by plants. This list will definitely get you thinking about what you can place in your garden for vertical fun:

1) Sticks are the original trellis. If you have sticks available, place them in a tripod-like structure, like a tipi, or if your sticks have many branches, just sink one stick into the ground with many branches for your peas or other veggies to climb upon.

A Stick Trellis for Peas

2) Bike Trellis: Line up a few bikes, or bike parts, and you have a colorful trellis for your plants. Imagine peas growing on this cute bike fence…

A Bike Fence in Paonia.

3) Patio Umbrella Trellis: A broken patio umbrella can have a second life as a trellis. I have one in my garden now.

A Broken Patio Umbrella Turned Trellis. Photo © Liesl Clark

4) Bamboo and String Trellis: For your more delicate vines a bamboo frame for string is a beautiful trellis.

5) Tipi Trellis: With some long sticks, you can make a tipi trellis that serves to hold up your veggies and vines while providing a great green space for the kids.

6) Wagon Wheel Trellis: Wagon wheels make pretty trellises for climbing roses.

7) Old Window Frame with Chicken Wire: Use an old frame as a trellis with chicken wire attached.

8) Step Ladder Trellis: An old step ladder is an easy trellis to set up.

9) Bike Wheel Trellis: The photo here says it all. It’s a bike wheel totem trellis.

9) Wooden Coat Hanger Trellis: With an accordion-style wooden coat hanger, a few pencils and a paint stirrer, you’ll have a trellis.

10) Screen Door Trellis: Like the old window frame, an old screen door frame works beautifully as a trellis against your house.

11) Ski Trellis: Use skis to set up a trellis for your raspberries.

12) Bookshelf Trellis: An interesting book shelf partially buried in the dirt could make a nice trellis.

13) Sawhorse Trellis: A sawhorse or 2 can make an instant garden trellis.

14) Old Chair Trellis: Use an old wooden chair for a trellis.

15) Stretch of Picket Fence Trellis: If you have a length of picket fence, try using that as a trellis.

16) Rain Pipe Trellis: Our drain pipe on our house is serving as a trellis, and the clapboards, too. Some plants can climb anything.

Rain Pipe Trellis

17) Fence Trellis: Just use a section of your fence to allow a flowering climber, like clematis, take over.

A section of our garden fence is a clematis trellis.

18) Chicken Wire Trellis: Don’t think I need to explain that one.

19) Ladder Trellis: An old ladder can hold up grape vines. You can add some bright paint to give it some pizazz.

20) Barbed Wire Trellis: If you’re handy like this Etsy artist, try making a barbed wire trellis. They’re beautiful.

20-25) Read our original post on DIY trellises for 5 more ideas including a headboard trellis, a baby crib trellis, and innovative stick trellises.


Hang Children’s Art From a Stick

How to simply display your children's art. Photo © Liesl Clark

Children’s art is precious. Do you have a good way to display it? We frame some of our favorites, but wall space is a premium in this house and the refrigerator can only hold a few masterpieces. Inspired by Suburban Pioneers’ use of a stick to display photos, I decided to try my hand at creating a stick art hanging system for our home office wall suited for enjoying children’s artistic creations.

Art on a Stick. Our New and Easy Hanging System. Photo © Liesl Clark

We have no lack of sticks out here under the canopy of trees in the Northwest, so my daughter and I tiptoed out to the forest and found ourselves a very long thin branch with some moss and lichen on it.

Three long nails, a stick, some wire, and some clothes pins or large clips is all you need. Photo © Liesl Clark

I hammered three nails into the wall to hold it in place, and wrapped some wire around the branch and nails to secure it. Then I used the same scrap wire to attach some clothes pins and large clips to the branch for holding the artwork.

Leave the moss intact and use a wire to afix your clothes pins and clips to your stick. Photo © Liesl Clark

Voila! A stick-centered art display.

Branch Out With Your Children's Art. Photo © Liesl Clark

How do you display your children’s art?

Ode to Tall Trees And The Sticks They Produce

Tall Trees, Photo © Liesl Clark

We live out in the sticks — literally.  All around us, sticks tend to abound. Our land is a thin strip of a clearing in a second growth fir and cedar forest punctuated by the green canopy of enormous big leaf maples. We’re on a tree-sheltered bluff above Puget Sound where winter winds blow down branches like myriad arm parts of stiff wooden dolls.

Kindling, Photo © Liesl Clark

We pick up the branches all winter long, a resource dropped from above, but readily put to use. Nothing is wasted here. Large pieces are cut into lengths for the fire as we heat our home entirely with wood. Small bits are used as kindling, we even pick up many of the pine cones to use as firestarters and store them in baskets, and the green wood goes in the stick pile, to be temporarily used as shelter for the creatures that live deep inside.

Little Creature Habitat: The Stick Pile, Photo©Liesl Clark

Every property should have a stick pile. It provides safe cover for wild birds and we know a possum or 2 live there. Think Christopher Robin and the little homes his friends had.

Come spring, we always have stick construction to do. Our whole property is outlined with natural fencing to keep deer at bay. The sticks are the mainstay barrier, not a serious one, but a natural barrier that doesn’t set us too far apart from the forest beyond.

Deer-proof fence? Well, sort of. Photo © Liesl Clark

But it’s the vegetable garden that gets all the attention around here. It’s enclosed by a stick structure unmatched, perhaps, on the planet.

The idea started with my son, Finn, who at 4 decided we needed to build a fence for a garden. We designed lengths of fence that went into the ground, pre-built by the 2 of us: Three lengths were horizontally affixed to 2 vertical posts with thin vertical sticks then fixed every foot or so. We built half a garden’s -worth and then took a break, a little discouraged by the huge effort. Then our friend, Ang Temba, arrived from Nepal and recognized the design as one commonly used in rural mountain villages. He finished the project with renewed vigor. The fence is hardware-dependent, 4-inch long screws and a power drill do the job, as well as a post-hole digger to bury the thick posts.

Stick Fence 2.jpg Photo © Liesl Clark

Drilling Stick Fence.jpg Photo © Liesl Clark

Beautiful arched hemlock and cedar branches adorn the uppermost reaches of the fence, some 7-8 feet high, to deter deer from jumping inside.

Arches National Fence, Photo © Liesl Clark

We liked the structure so much that when it came to enclosing our chickens (to protect them from raccoons, bald eagles, and mink) we built a stick fence for them, too. It’s actually an entire timberframe aviary fully enclosed in requisite chicken wire.

Chicks in Sticks, Photo © Liesl Clark

As soon as we finished it, our coop, known as “Chicks in Sticks,” was featured in Bainbridge Island’s first Tour de Coop, surely picked for the whimsical stick-fort-like hideout the feathered girls call home.

The trees must look on with amusement, peering down through their branches at our woven stick world below. Why do we gain such pleasure from making sense of the materials made readily available to us by the wind, the land, and the tall trees above?