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Sturdy trellis for vigorous vines.

Given the chance, vigorous vines can quickly overwhelm flimsy trellises, causing them to buckle and sag. The sturdy trellis pictured here - designed by John Kern for the gardens at Cooper-Molera Adobes in Monterey, California-keeps vines upright and tidy in a narrow space.

A showcase for vine varieties that grew in California prior to 1865, the redwood trellis stands 8 1/2 feet tall. Posts are three 12-foot-long 4-by-4s spaced 3 1/2 feet apart on center and sunk 3 1/2 feet in the soil (bases were pretreated with wood preservative). A 9 1/2-foot-long 2-by-6 beam attaches with lag screws to each side of the post tops; dowel plugs conceal the screws.

The 2-by-4s, screwed in pairs across the top of the trellis and 24 inches apart up the face of the upright posts, are mostly design elements that give the trellis its traditional look. But they also provide rungs over which to loop twine for additional support. Says Kern, "The more hooks, the better."

Old-fashioned `Painted Lady' sweet peas grow up the trellis each spring (four seeds are sown each fall in front of each vertical post). Spanish jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum) and blue passion vine (Passiflora caerulea) planted beside the posts will eventually take over. Lychnis coronaria and clay roof tiles edge the bed.
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Date:Oct 1, 1990
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