If your Green Lake garden needs a little excitement, or if you’re simply running out of standard issue growing space, make like a skyscraper: go up. Often forgotten, the vertical plane adds depth and visual interest to any scene. The support structure you choose – whether teepee, arbor, gate, pole, column, wall or trellis – can help divide and define garden “rooms,” screen unwanted views, add privacy, and especially add beauty to your yard.
These structures can be temporary, like sunflower houses or pea tunnels made of twigs or wire, or as permanent and elaborate as a Moon Gate. Before leaves emerge is the best time to see the structures, before they are smothered with verdant effusion. Here are some local examples to inspire:
Drawing with Plants
Follow Your Nose
What’s that smell? If you come within range of a Clematis Armandii this time of year, take time to float for a bit on vanilla waves. [Warning: you may be gripped with a sudden need for a Chai Latte.]
Espalier (es-pal-ee-yay) is a French term meaning the branches are trained to splay out horizontally to increase flower production; this works especially well with members of the Rosa genus, including Apples, Crabapples, and Quince, but any plant with flexible branches can manage it. Any geometric design you can dream up will work.
Make Your Own
As long as it will stand the weather, almost anything can be a support. These streetside raspberries will climb where a toddler once did on this creatively repurposed crib:
This striking bentwood support (made of flexible green twigs dried in position) is cross between a teepee and an onion dome. You can make simpler pyramids using bamboo stakes or tree trimmings tied with twine or wire, or try your own bentwood with willow cuttings.