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Wake-ups for walls.

Small garden comes alive with wall-mounted trellises and vertically trained plants

VERTICAL SURFACES such as fences and walls usually play background roles when it comes to adding color, form, and texture to a garden. Horizontal surfaces--paths, decks, planting beds, and pools--tend to be the stars. But in small gardens, walls and fences are often the most prominent surfaces, and they can benefit from enriching details.

On a slender lot in Palo Alto, California, landscape architect Bill Derringer added layers of plants and trellises to the blank walls of the main house, a separate garage, and a neighbor's garage. This wall-mounted geometry creates the formal look of a garden you'd expect to find in Colonial Williamsburg, but without using any of the narrow lot's limited patio space.

Along a narrow driveway, there was hardly enough width for a car, much less a planting bed. To add greenery without taking up driveway space, Derringer designed an orderly grid of espaliered needlepoint ivy. The ivy is trained on plastic-coated clothesline that runs through eye screws set into the house's wood siding. Above the ivy graphics is another space-saving display of plants: a slender window box.

Panels of 1-by-2s were mounted on the garage's garden-facing wall. The white-painted grid supports an espaliered fruit tree and adds depth and shadow pattern to the wall. The grid repeats in an adjacent fence that extends from the garage.

On the opposite side of the patio, against the blank wall of a neighbor's garage, Derringer mounted two arching panels. One has a trellis design with false perspective--it's back is painted plywood, and its front is angled and curving wooden shapes. The other panel has intersecting layers of 1-by-2s on which a blue-flowered clematis vine is trained.
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:decorating outdoor walls
Author:Whiteley, Peter O.
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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