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Our Garden Trellis
Summer 2009

I was reading a magazine on a flight from ATL to somewhere for work and saw an advertisement for a window company. It was a sales piece for a high end garden window with an artsy concept of it's mullions being made from bent tree limbs in a gothic arch. I ripped the ad out as I had another garden idea.

On the farm the year old tree saplings were starting to grow thick in the areas near the clearing. I went out to the stand with my loppers and cut down a dozen of these small tender trees, trimmed off the few branches and cut them to a length of about 12 feet.

Back at the barn I got the compressor out with the finish nail gun and went to work. Using the ad as a sample I arched the outer saplings to form the outer frame. Then added additional trees to attain the inner arches, I added the cross bars, nailed everything in place. In a relatively short time I had a finished rustic bent wood trellis similar to the advertisement.  It looked great.

This is the first year for our garden in the foundation of the old chicken house. I decided that this trellis was to be the statement that the garden started from this point on. I pounded a couple of heavy steel fence posts to anchor the trellis to and elevate it off the ground a few inches so it would not have ground contact and rot.

James found a package of Cypress Vines when looking for our garden seeds. The package showed a delicate vine with small trumpet like flowers of various colors. James planted a couple of seeds at each upright and watered them in.

A week late the seeds had sprouted. Their initial leaves and sprouts were not very impressive and did not look like a vine that would grow into something that would cover this 12 foot tall trellis. Within a few weeks the vine leaders were winding their way up the frame. Additional branches of the vine started their route up and across the trellis. By July 4th the Cypress Vine was almost to the top. By the end of July the vine had filled in and the blossoms were thick with their early morning bloom. As we were admiring the vine we watched a hummingbird come up and work the colorful presentation just a few feet from us.

This concept  photo has proven to be a real barn project winner. Several friends and neighbors have placed orders for a trellis just like ours.