Introduction: Garden Trellis and Climbing Hedge on Existing Fence WITH VIDEO

This is a simple little landscaping project I did last weekend. Relatively low cost and came up really nice. Definitely adds value to the property with a much better looking side fence.

Costs; plants $68, wire $20, screws $8.50. Total under $100 to cover 10m of fence.

Check out the video here if you're a visual learner (I know I am!), it's also a relaxing 2 minute condensation of 5 hours of my hard work :)

Step 1: Materials and Tools

First, find a fence or wall that looks really boring.

Now, go collect some stuff.

Tools required:

  • Tape measure
  • Pen or marker
  • Battery powered drill or screwdriver
  • Correct drive piece for your chosen screws
  • Cable cutters
  • Gardening spade

Materials required:

  • Cable or wire
  • Screws (make sure the screw head is wide enough to clamp your wire)
  • Climbing plants (species dependant on your climate and personal preference)
  • 4-5 hours of you precious time (is time even a material? You need it anyway)

Step 2: Measure and Plan

Measure your fence panels so you can work out the layout of the trellis.

Sketch your fence panels on a piece of grid paper and work out what you want it to look like. From your sketch you can work out the dimensions you need the cables to work to. When sketching think about how far apart you want your plants to be and how many you want to plant.

I decided on a simple diagonal checker pattern because it fitted the look I was after and suited the size of my fence panels.

Note: Depending on your climate these metal fences can get really hot in the sun, here in Australia a dark coloured metal fence will burn your skin if it’s in full sun. If there wasn’t something on the other side of the fence shading it, I wouldn’t be planting this close to it as it will also burn the plants.

Step 3: Mark Out

I didn't take photos of the rest of the detail as I wasn't planning on an Instructable when I did the project, I'll do my best to describe it to you. The timelapse video gives a bit better idea of how it was done.

Take the edge dimensions from your sketch and mark them onto the fence panel, this will tell you where to put screws. Put a screw into the fence at each mark, but don’t wind it right in just yet, leave enough room under the screw head to wind the cable around it.

Step 4: Fit Cables

Now the fun bit, thread your cable around the screw heads and do them up as you go to help with the tensioning of the cable. It doesn’t matter how many times you stop and start your cables, the pattern I did was possible with a single length of cable so there is only one termination. When you get to the end point, screw it off and cut the cable nice and close to the screw head.

Tip: Wind the cable around the screws in a clockwise direction, that way it will tighten the cable for you as you wind the screw in.

Step 5: Take a Break, Enjoy the Progress Thus Far and a Beverage of Your Preference.

Step 6: Plants

Select a climbing plant that you want to use for this project, get hold of enough of them one way or another (I bought them, which is a good option) and plant them at your chosen interval depending on your design.

I have planted Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) because they suit the local climate, grow fast and have a really nice flower in spring. There are myriads of climbing plants to choose from, do some googling and pick one that suits your taste and requirements.

Once you’ve planted it out, train the runners up the cables. You will need to continue to do this down the track if you want the plants to follow the trellis neatly.

Step 7: Finish Off

So that's it!

Water the plants and throw some mulch around them to keep the moisture in. Train the vines on the cables, and in a few months your fence will look a million bucks.

Don’t forget to ‘like’ this Instructable if you love it. Check out the Youtube vid (it’s my first!) and like and subscribe if you want to see more projects like this.