Pyramid trellises, also sometimes referred to as obelisks, make awesome focal points in a garden or landscape design. Available in a multitude of styles, sizes, and colors, choosing one that’s right for your yard can be difficult. In this article, we’ll explore today’s options in pyramid trellis designs and some of their many uses in the garden.
Pyramid trellises, as the name would suggest, are typically pyramid shaped, though they can vary a lot in height and width. Most commonly, they are tall, thin structures that rise up above the rest of the garden, adding a vertical element to an otherwise mostly horizontal plane. One great way to help draw the eye upward with an obelisk is to use it as a support structure for a climbing plant. Vines such as ivy, honeysuckle, clematis, morning glory, or sweet pea will all grow up a pyramid trellis without any problem. Simply plant the vine where you want it in the garden and carefully position the pyramid trellis over the top, making sure to secure the structure to the ground. Remember that as the foliage grows up the obelisk, it will catch wind more easily, making it susceptible to blowing over in a strong wind storm. Some obelisks are tall enough that part of their base can be buried in the ground. If this is not the case, find a way to stake it securely.
Another alternative for someone who likes the idea of a pyramid trellis but doesn’t have a lot of garden space is to position it over a planter box. Measure the base of your trellis, both width and length, and then seek out a planter box that has slightly larger dimensions. Plant a climbing vine or flower in the planter, position the trellis over the top, and you’ve got an instant eye-catching addition to your deck or patio. Some pyramid trellises can even be purchased with special planter bases, specifically designed to fit together, saving you the time and trouble of finding two disparate pieces that will work with each other.
Pyramid trellises are commonly constructed of wood and often feature adornments such as metal cap pieces or other decorative elements attached to the structure. The reason for this is that some people don’t want to allow a climbing vine to overtake the trellis; instead, they prefer to let the obelisk stand on its own, adding an architectural element to the garden. If you are building or buying a wood obelisk, be sure to consider the type of wood used. Redwoods such as cedar are the best option because they are naturally weather and pest resistant. Cheaper woods like pine tend to break down and decay quickly in the outdoor elements.
Other good material choices include plastic and metal. Again, it’s important to know the specific type of material you’re buying. With plastics, look for high quality vinyl products that contain a UV inhibitor. This will prevent the material from discoloring or fading in the sunlight. The primary advantage of a vinyl trellis is that it won’t require any maintenance such as painting or staining to look good, and you’ll never have to worry about it decaying, splintering, rotting, or drawing wood-boring insects. If you’re shopping for a metal obelisk, steer clear of iron or steel, unless you like the look of red rust. Both these metals will rust very quickly outdoors, and eventually the red rust can seep into the soil, poisoning nearby plants. Copper is a common choice because it weathers with a unique patina over time. Aluminum is a great option if you don’t want the appearance of the trellis to change. Aluminum will not rust and it’s lightweight and extremely durable.
No matter what size or style you choose, adding a pyramid trellis to your garden or landscape is a great decision. They are far less expensive than an arbor or pergola, yet they still add visual interest and beauty to your yard. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to create a focal point in your garden, look no further than a pyramid trellis.