I remember when I was a child, my Dad built a beautiful trellis in our cottage garden. It was made from wood and arched above the path that leads to the front door. It was built for the beautiful apricot coloured rose that was planted in my little metre square patch of the garden where once upon a time I grew radishes and cornflowers. When the roses were in full bloom, it was wonderful to walk through the arch, surrounded by the gorgeous soft petals and delicious perfume.
A trellis is a very useful structure, both beautiful and practical. They provide the perfect frame for all things climbing whether it is fresh and tasty beans or beautiful roses.
The best thing about trellis work is that it can fill a space you didn't even know you had.
Thanks to Michael Lancaster's post on Permaculture Ideas (www.permacultureideas.blogspot.co.uk), the use of curved mesh arching across a pathway between two raised beds can create the perfect structure for vines, while filling an unused space.
In Michaels solution, he attaches each end of the steel arch to the sides of two beds, either side of the pathway. This can act as a trellis for vine like plants such as beans. Beans are great to grow as they fix nitrogen from the air into the soil, directly benefitting the neighbouring plants such as cabbage which is a nitrogen-hungry plant.
You could also grow grapes, tomatoes, peas, cucumbers, apples and melons on a trellis.
Another option for the trellis is to build the arch from wood. Willow, hazel and sweet chestnut are ideal for making trellis and all can be gathered sustainably from local woodsmen and green woodworkers. Alternatively, look at recycling old wood from items such as pallets or speak to a local reclaim merchant.
You can also experiment with shapes and create your trellis with a tipi structure or a typical box shape.
Wire trellis picture thanks to Permaculture Ideas.
For more permaculture ideas visit www.permacultureideas.blogspot.co.uk