Garden structures can bring interest to the garden. Pyramids especially can draw the eye due to their height. While these are often made from wood, they are also available in metal. Adding a pyramid to your garden can be pricey and time consuming if you make it yourself. A quick and relatively inexpensive approach is to build one from PVC. PVC is cheap, easy to use and readily available. This is how I made one for about $12* in less than two hours, and that includes getting everything together and cleanup afterwards.
6 pc.-1/2" x 5' PVC pipes (or buy 10' pieces and cut them in half in the parking lot with the hacksaw you brought along)
8 pc.-1/2" x 1/2" x 1/2" PVC slip tees
1 pc.-1/2" x 1/2" x 1/2" x 1/2" PVC slip cross piece
4 pc.-1/2" x 1/2" PVC slip 90o elbow
2 pc. -4' electric fence posts (about 5/16" diameter)
spray paint * not included in the cost shown above
Tape measure or yard stick
Pencil or marker
Vise (helpful but not necessary)
Step 1: Cutting the Components
These pieces are for one of the four uprights. Cut one of the 5' pipes into these smaller pieces:
1 pc. @12"
1 Pc. @ 48"
Cut three more 5' pipes the same. Keep the parts separate.
Cut another 5' piece into these smaller pieces:
2 pc. @15-1/2"
1 pc. @15-3/4"
3 pc. @ 3-1/2"
1 pc. @ 1-1/2"
Cut the last 5' piece into these smaller pieces:
1 pc. @15-3/4"
1 pc. @ 3-1/2"
3 pc. @ 1-1/2"
Use the file to remove the ragged PVC pieces at each cut end.
Use the hacksaw to cut each of the steel posts in half. These will be driven partially into the ground to help secure the pyramid to prevent toppling in a wind.
Step 2: Assembly_Legs
Since this project doesn't involve water under pressure running through the pipes, no PVC cleaner and cement will be used. Assemble two of the Ts using a 1-1/2" piece between them. The Ts should be at 90o from each other. Insert a 12" piece into one T ( this is the bottom of the pyramid) and the 48" piece into the other T ( this is the top of the pyramid). Stand the assembly vertical and tap one end on the floor to fully insert.
Lay the assembly on the floor and lay out the next two Ts and three PVC pipe pieces next to it. Orient the Ts so their cross bar will connect with the first assembly. Assemble. Assemble the 15-3/4" cross bar into the Ts nearest the 12" segment. Refer to this as the front.
Complete another set of uprights, making sure the cross members to be assembled next, will align, top to top and bottom to bottom, with the front assembly. Refer to this as the back.
With the front assembly laying on the floor, assemble the 15-1/2" cross bars ( refer these as the left and right sides) to the remaining Ts in the front. Flip the back assembly over and insert the left and right crossbars into the T's. Stand the completed lower assembly upright.
Step 3: Assembly_Top and Completion
Insert a 3-1/2" piece into each of the four openings in the PVC cross. Assemble an elbow to the other end of each 3-1/2" piece, with the elbow curved upwards. Tap all the pieces together securely.
Assemble one of the elbows each up the uprights of the lower assembly. Assembly complete. Give your new garden structure a coat of copper ( or any color of your choice) spray paint to make it look better. Do this outside or in a well ventilated place when it is warm.
The top can be drilled for strings to be tied to the lower cross bars if you want to grow vining plants on your pyramid. Try pole beans, peas, morning glories, or clematis.
Work up the soil for planting before you install the pyramid. Put the structure where you want it. Mark the leg positions and set the pyramid aside temporarily. Drive one of the steel rods about 9" into the ground where each leg will rest. Drive them at slight angles to match the angle of the pyramid leg. Reinstall the pyramid legs over the rods. This may take two people.