Saturday, March 22, 2014

A new Trellis

Today was a clear sunny, but cool day; perfect for a few yard chores. The large Queen Elizabeth climbing rose at the front of the house had definitely outgrown its current trellis by last Fall. After my knee injury, I was only able to secure it, to prevent winter wind damage, by tying the rose to the outgrown frame with nylon cord. The tallest stems were curled under the house eaves a good fourteen feet from the ground! I searched the garden stores, but none of the pre-made trellises were close to the height I needed. I had seen a simple trellis frame on Pinterest made from PVC pipe and plastic lattice, so the plan was to create one of my own.

The rose canes have started to produce 1/4 inch shoots so I pruned back the main canes about five feet. I also thinned out all the fussy little branches and crossing canes. It might be a bit early for such drastic pruning but I'm hoping for a frost/snow free advance to Spring. There is also a mass planting of daylillies at the base of this rose whose shoots are already two inches tall, so I figured it was less damaging for me to smoosh them with a ladder now rather than later.

My son Jim did the handy work with the power drill and screwed the lattice onto the two ten foot PVC pipes. It was less than a half hour job using several clamps to hold the pieces together while they were drilled then screwed. We hammered two pieces of 48" rebar into the ground then slipped the trellis behind the rose and over the rebar. We had previously installed O-screws into the house siding to anchor the old trellis and just reused them for the new improved trellis. This time we had the excellent idea to attach the trellis with zip-ties and decided we could affix the rose canes with zip-ties too. Nifty! Altogether a very successful & easy garden project, the first for this year.

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