Yards come in all shapes and sizes, and even the most gifted gardener may run into the issue of trying to grow plants in an itty-bitty space, only to become frustrated and end up with frustrated plants, as well. If you’ve found that your plants aren’t thriving, don’t dismiss the idea of having a gorgeously blooming yard quite yet. There are ways to please your green friends, even when you don’t have acres of lush land with which to work.
What’s the secret to having more space in which to garden? Extending your yard upward, not outward. If you’ve never considered using a lattice, now might be the time. You’ll be amazed what you’ll come up with (pun intended).
What is lattice?
A lattice, quite simply, is a structure where pieces of material cross over each other in a grid. A lattice can make the garden space you’re working with seem much larger, since it enables your plants to grow up toward the sky.
Different Types of Lattices
There are a few types of lattices, each boasting its own advantages. Before you decide to put one in your garden, take a look at your options.
Plastic or Vinyl
A plastic lattice can be the least expensive option for the gardener, and plastic certainly has its good points. The advantages of using a plastic lattice can include:
- It is less susceptible to weather elements.
- Insects are not as drawn to plastic as they may be to natural materials such as wood.
- It is easy to clean.
- It will not warp or splinter.
Wrought Iron or Metal
A metal lattice can be copper, iron or a lightweight aluminum. The advantages of selecting a lattice made out of metal can include:
- It is durable through the years, provided you maintain it.
- It brings a sophisticated look to the garden.
- It can hold heavy plants because it’s durable.
Of course, let’s not forget wood. If you choose a wooden lattice, you’ll have your pick of trees – pine, cedar and redwood, to name a few. Here are the advantages of a wood lattice:
- It is environmentally friendly.
- It blends naturally with the beauty of the natural world.
- It can be painted or decorated easily.
- It is relatively inexpensive.
Installing a Lattice in the Garden
Once you’ve decided on the type that suits your space the best, it is time to introduce the lattice to your garden. If you chose a lattice made from wood, follow these tips to install it.
- Measure the space; measure the lattice.
You’ll need to make sure that your lattice is cut into the size you need. Measure the space first and cut the appropriate amount of lattice. Use a fine tooth saw on a steady surface for cutting the lattice.
- Create a frame.
It’s a bit more difficult to get the lattice to attach to the earth, so a frame is helpful in this case. A simple wooden frame that surrounds the garden space should work.
- Attach the lattice to the frame.
Use small nails, deck screws or staples to attach the lattice to the frame you’ve created.
Selecting Plants for the Lattice
Now that you have a lattice in your garden, which plants will grow successfully in a vertical direction? Here are a couple suggestions for plants that will beautify your newly decorated space – there are many others, of course! Keep in mind, too, that these plants are also great for picket fences and any other structures around your home.
There are many different types of roses in the world, so pick your favorites (make sure they’ll grow in your climate) and watch them wind around your new lattice. Roses are cherished for their fragrance – not to mention that they’re a symbol of love.
Clematis vines come in many colors. This is a hearty plant in most climates.
Wisteria is known for its small flowers (usually white, blue or pink). Wisteria blooms in the spring and also thrives in many climates.
- Morning Glory
Considered one of the easier vines to grow, even for beginners, morning glory will bloom in the morning with large flowers in colors including white, purple and scarlet.
Remember, a lattice can offer privacy and beauty to your yard, as well as creating a more vertical garden space for happier plants. If you’ve been wondering how to make the most of a minuscule yard, letting your plants grow up might be the answer you seek.
About the Author:
Chris Long is a store associate at a Chicago-area Home Depot. He frequently writes for the Home Depot website. Chris’ outdoor project interests range from providing homeowners with lattice tips to how to choose the right fencing for your yard.