The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

Project: Repurposed Trellis


I inherited some old garden fencing when we purchased our house. I have been storing this fencing in my shed (once built) and working around it. It is always in the way it seems. I have tried to use it somehow – supporting floppy plants, rabbit barrier, cat barrier, dog barrier – but it just never seems to work for me and back into the shed it goes to get in the way again. I was very close to putting it out to the curb for our seasonal town trash pick up when I had an idea.

Old garden fencing

Last year I was gazing out over the garden from our back porch (a favorite pastime) and thought my shed could use a little dressing up. I thought a flowering vine climbing along one side would add more interest. I felt that my usual rustic trellis approach would be too heavy for the rough-hewn lumbered shed.

I decided to repurpose the fencing into a trellis for the side of my shed! I simply turned the sections of fencing on their sides and fastened the sections with wire.

Creating a repurposed trellis

I bent some of the legs that poked out into twining, spiral shapes resembling the tendrils of a vine with needle nose pliers.

Trellis detail

I fastened the “art deco” trellis to the side of the shed with heavy duty staples.

Finished trellis

This year I had Morning Glory starts I grew from seed. The first planting was eaten, yes, by the rabbits. The second planting was encased in tree guard so the vine could take hold. It is climbing nicely and although would be much fuller by now if not originally eaten, will still put on a show before what seemingly will be an early fall. The vine seems right at home on this trellis, twining its way upwards and soon I should see the lovely bright purple blooms of Grandpa Ott’s Morning Glory.

Climbing Morning Glory

Here is a picture of Grandpa Ott’s blooms in the Potager.

Grandpa Ott's in the Potager

A little surprise while taking pictures of the trellis. What I thought was a leaf bud turned out to be a planthopper, Acanalonia conica. Another identified insect I can add to my list.

That's not a leaf bud

That’s not a leaf bud!

Planthopper Acanalonia conica

Planthopper Acanalonia conica

If you have some garden fencing lying around, getting in the way that you’ve been shuffling back and forth, consider looking at it in a new light and build yourself a quick, easy trellis – an excuse to plant more flowers. I think a Clematis will find a home on this trellis next year …


Author: Kathy Sturr

Cultivating art, growing soul, and creating plant-based food in the beautiful 1000 Islands, New York and Cedar Key, Old Florida.

8 thoughts on “Project: Repurposed Trellis

  1. What a great idea Kathy and how nice to see the morning glories. Mine did not do well either and I started new seeds but like yours they have been slow to grow. But I will take the few flowers I have seen so far.

    • It seems it is a rabbit year and not morning glory year huh Donna? i have never grown Granpa Ott’s but know that it seeds itself. I love Heavenly Blue but also like Scarlet O’Hara. Next year I want to try growing chocolate morning glory!

  2. Now that is a sustainable gardener at their best! You took something that was old and made it something new, unique, and may I add you are very clever! That is one interesting “insect”

  3. I’m always impressed by how imaginative and handy with tools you are. The trellis is perfect.

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