Garden trellis ideas- 21 ways to add structure and support for plants

Zone your space, create privacy or encourage climbing plants with these garden trellis ideas

A great addition to any outdoor space, trellis can be used to encourage climbing plants, zone an open seating area or create extra privacy in an over-looked garden. But if you're not sure where to start, our garden trellis ideas are sure to come in handy.

Garden trellis is a great piece of versatile gardening kit and doesn't even need plants grown up and over it to become a focal point in your outdoor space. It can bring interest to patios, sheds and forgotten corners and create archways and walking routes around larger outdoor spaces. Available in all shapes and sizes, it's predominantly made of wooden which can either be painted, stained or left bare.

Look for square, diamond shaped, expanding and decorative designs that look beautiful while they are busy being practical. Some designs even come backed by mirrored panels, which can trick the eye into believing your garden is bigger - and more romantic - than it really is.

Working trellis into your garden landscaping ideas is easy and it won't cost the earth either. Check out our ideas and get inspired before you start on your own.

Garden trellis ideas

1. Add interest to a plain brick wall

garden area with climbing plants and chair

(Image credit: B&Q)

Buy now: Blooma trellis panel, £15, B&Q

Zhuzh up a bland brick wall with a traditional wooden trellis for pretty climbing plants to grow up. Either create a flower bed at the foot of the wall, or position a planter and encourage plants such as clematis or trailing roses to creep their way up the trellis. If the wall is particularly wide, place two or more panels side by side and plant more specimens below.

2. Use as a backdrop to floral abundance

garden area with flower plants and fence

(Image credit: Future Plc/Colin Poole)

Use panels of criss-crossed trellis to act as a backdrop in for any garden border ideas. That way, when flowers and plants grow up in front of them, your garden will look neater, more professional and less like a jungle. Leave the wood bare for a more country-garden style.

3. Double up on trellis-topped fences

garden area with potted plants and chair

(Image credit: Future PLC/Joanna Henderson)

A trellis-topped fence will add height without blocking out light and act as a spot for creeping plants. Doubling up on trellis goodness, add an additional panel to the front of fences to add interest, depth and another spot for climbing greenery. Place potted plants on the patio at varying heights to play with scale and add interest.

4. Make it modern with metal

garden area with climbing plants

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Buy now: Charlbury wall trellis, 30cm, £35, Garden Trading

Create a smart living wall outdoors with this metal trellis, ideal for helping climbing plants like sweet peas, ivy or jasmine do what they do best. The metal finish is far more contemporary than its wooden counterpart and its sleek design would work wonderfully in a courtyard garden or  bijou balcony alike.

5. Attach to a planter for a smart display

garden area with bricked wall and flower plants

(Image credit: Cuckooland)

Buy now: Rowlinson Aderley rectangular planter and trellis, £149.95, Cuckooland

Get your grow on with this great garden trellis ideas and plant up a deep planter with an array of colourful flowers and plants. Add a panel of trellis to the back to create a smart display that can be placed anywhere around your garden or outdoor space. Painting your planter and trellis in the same dark, grey shade will add a contemporary feel and make flowers pop.

6. Extend a walled garden fence with trellis

garden area grey table and chairs

(Image credit: Future Plc/Mark Bolton)

Just because you don't have a garden fence doesn't mean you can't attached a garden trellis. This walled garden features an extension of the fence thanks to panels of trellis which are mounted to the top to frame the wall with beautiful climbing foliage. Not only will the added trellis provide a screen on which to grow plants it will also add additional privacy.

7. Hide a garden shed with plants

garden area with shed and flower pots

(Image credit: Future Plc/Michelle Garrett)

Secure multiple garden trellis designs to a garden shed to encourage plants to grow over, concealing it from view once the plants are well established. Run a trellis panel down the side to train a climbing plant to grow up and over the sides of the shed. Attached a trellis frame to the door and use the structure to hang potted plants, which can be changed throughout the seasons.

8. Make it practical

garden area with potted plants and watering can

(Image credit: Future Plc/Joanna Henderson)

Install sections of trellis to act as a clever vertical storage solutions. From hanging garden tools, so they're handy at a moments notice, to keeping the watering can easily locatable a wall trellis with hooks is an ideal garden storage hack. In addition to being highly practical you can paint the frame to add colour to the walls and hang potted plants for decoration. This trellis solution is a winning small garden idea, to use the vertical space to its best advantage.

9. Grow horizontally with a slatted design

garden area with bricked wall and flower plants

(Image credit: Future Plc/Mel Yates)

Trellising doesn't have to be square-shaped - we love this contemporary horizontal slatted metal design. Combine with a run of planters below. Plant trailing plants at the back to grow up the trellis and bedding plants, such as these gloriously pink geraniums, at the front. The bedding plants will provide shade for the trailing plants behind, which require shade at their roots and full sun for their flowers.

10. Add a splash of uplifting colour

garden area with flower plants and pink trellis

(Image credit: Future Plc/Jamie Mason)

Paint a trellis in a vibrant shade to offset the frame to that of the fence behind. This bright pink trellis stands out for all the right reasons, from the natural stained fence panel behind. Use the trellis a s a way to inject a primary colour that co-ordinates with your planting choices, or alternatively clashes as this pink trellis does against the white roses.

11. Combine terracotta pots to make a display

garden trellis with flower pots and white window

(Image credit: Future Plc/Simon Whitmore)

Hang a section of trellis next to a window and use it to create a flowering display that can be enjoyed from inside as well as outside the house. Pot up spring or autumn-flowering bulbs in traditional terracotta containers. Wrap with garden raffia, add a top dressing of moss and hang securely from the trellis using garden wire. These potted hyacinths hang at an angle for a quirky touch.

12. Add colour and ambience with tealight lanterns

garden area with trellis fence and lights

(Image credit: Future Plc/Mel Yates)

Make use of both sides of a trellis. This section splits a patio from the main garden area and the patio side features coloured glass lanterns, each containing a tealight. Make sure that any handles and nails or tacks are strong enough to hold the jars securely. Light the tealights at night to create a lovely atmosphere. Never leave burning candles unattended.

13. Protect brickwork from climbing plants

garden trellis with climbing plants

(Image credit: Amateur Gardening)

Place wooden trellis panels immediately in front of brick walls to provide a growing canvas, without having to encourage roots anywhere near the bricks and mortar. A supportive screen will act as the ideal climbing frame to prevent plants from having to be fastened directly the house or exterior walls.

14. Create a colourful backdrop for planting

garden area with blue wall and plant pots

(Image credit: Future Plc/Mark Scott)

Welcome some vibrant colour to the walls behind your garden trellis, to enliven the look. This compact colour is enlivened by a coat of sky blue paint on the brick walls, with a darker shade of blue chosen for the wall-mounted trellis. The use of colour helps create a beautiful backdrop for plants to grow against. Take the colour throughout the garden with bold coloured furniture choices and painted plant pots.

15. Zone with freestanding sections of trellis

garden area with trellis and flower plants

(Image credit: Amateur Gardening)

Allow a trellis to stand alone to create a support for border planting. Encourage climbing plants to make their way up the freestanding trellis to create a wall of foliage, that can act as a partition to zone different zones with the garden. This trellis is placed behind a bed of herbs, creating a mini herb garden.

16. Use garden trellis in place of fence panels

garden area with table and chairs

(Image credit: Future Plc/Mark Scott)

Use trellis fencing in place of traditional fencing panels. They are far less likely to be blown down in bad weather as the wind just passes through them. Plant trailing plants in the bed below and watch your screen grow over the summer! Combine varieties that flower at different times for all-year-round interest. Here a country-garden feel has been created with abundant trailing evergreen Clematis armandii.

17. Make your own to grow on a budget

garden area with trellis and flower plants

(Image credit: Future Plc/Simon Upton)

Looking for a budget garden idea? Using simple garden canes and garden wire you can fashion a DIY grid of trellis. The affordable homemade trellis is more than capable of providing support for climbing plants.

18. Add decorative touches with colourful tile inserts

garden area with blue fence and grape plant

(Image credit: Future Plc/Marianne Majerus)

Use trellis to create decorative interest along a plain timber overlap fence panel. Painted in a dove grey, this one creates a nice contrast to the woodstained panel behind. One-off tiles placed randomly in the trellis squares create a truly unique look. Fix the trellis so that is secure enough against wind, but also make sure it is will be easy to remove once fence-painting time comes around.

19. Make more of a trellis with handy hooks

garden area with trellis and candle votives

(Image credit: Future Plc/Brian Moody)

This is one of the easiest garden trellis ideas.Dress the trellis with handy hooks to make the most of the vertical space. Hang potted plants, candle votives, garden signs and ambient fairy lights to create a well-curated outdoor space.

20. Add flexibility with metal trellis designs

garden area with trellis and chairs

(Image credit: Amateur Gardening)

Trellis doesn't have to be wooden, square and practical. It can be metal, decorative and highly practical too.This design is made extra special set against a painted wall and turns a small seating area into a magical spot. Combine with large planters and cafe-style furniture for a stunning way to make a tiny area beautiful.

21. Set the scene

garden area with sofa and plant pots

(Image credit: Future Plc/Polly Wrenford)

Use painted trellis to divide up areas of your garden - such as here where it's been used to delineate an outdoor dining area. This compact linear design in on-trend grey creates a decorative wall, enclosing the seating area. Bring in potted shrubs that are big enough to help define the space. A cosy arrangement like this can provide screening, protection and dappled shade from the more unpredictable British weather.

What needs a trellis in the garden?

What needs a trellis in the garden in terms of plants is anything that needs support to flourish. Climbers such as a flowering clematis, Honeysuckle and vines all require a supportive structure to encourage growth in the right direction. A trellis is much-needed in a vegetable garden to trail runner beans and pea shoots. Many plants that grow tall on single stems and need to prevent them from bowing, such as sunflowers may also benefit from being supported by a trellis.

How do I make a simple garden trellis?

If you're feeling crafty, why not build your own trellis from wooden poles and sticks, bamboo, lumber, copper or wire mesh. Paint your trellis in an earthy colour palette to mimic that of your garden or, if you're designing an urban oasis, use a contrasting primary palette for added effect. Be a little different and use a trellis to hang up garden tools in the summer or as a display for a collection of potted-up terracotta pots.

How can I make my trellis look nice?

Giving wooden trellis a lick of paint is always a good way to make it look nice, and it doesn't take much paint to do so. Alternatively use spray paint, but be sure to remove the trellis from the wall before you start, and instead lay it on several sheets of newspaper or tarpaulin. Another one of our favoutrite garden trellis ideas to make it look nice is to loop battery-operated fairy lights over it so create a twinkling display after dark.

Additional words: Holly Walsh


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.