11 Recycled & Natural materials for Free Trellis & Arbor ideas

Jul 15, 2014
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The fun in gardening is to utilize what is around you, and how you can create beautiful works of art that are functional. This is especially worthwhile when you're choosing materials that can be recycled or "upcycled" when creating structure. Much of the recycled materials are metal or plastic that can be found around your yard, house, inside, flea markets, etc. Of course is better to use Natural materials such as wood fiber in making trellises and arbors, but this post is directed to those that want to recycle materials as well as use natural materials in the garden. The pictures below are a mix of other gardener's and my own ate a style of material for creating fencing, trellises, and arbors that are functional in the garden, but also create a sense of artistry and decoration.


1. Wattle fencing: For a tutorial on making Wattle fencing, watch this video: here.

Besides wattle fencing, other natural materials or recycled materials to use for constructing trellises and arbors include:
2. Crutches. Actually there is a pair of crutches at my house, and I have always wondered what to do with them. And I have considered using them in the garden. In the picture here, I just so happened to come across a picture of a gardener's usage of crutches in the garden.


3. Bicycle wheels. I find it very easy to accumulate bicycles wheels when families buy several bicycles at one time for everyone to ride. With plenty of wheels, you can create a vertical structure in the garden. There are many examples of gardeners using bicycle wheels in the garden, and below is a picture of the best example I could find.


4. Recycled metal bars, poles, or gates like in the picture below. And, much fencing found around my neck of the woods, is a lot of old metal wire like bed springs. So this is another useful material for a trellis structure to grow vining crops.

5. Screen door. Whether it's a screen door, or a bed spring, metal head board, or metal bed frame, these materials can be used in the garden for a vertical trellis. I have also used, as you can see in my garden posts from last season, that I used the wood framing of my old baby crib to grow peas, pumpkins, and other squash.






6. Tobacco sticks & wood posts can be found in old barns, and sometimes you will come across a farmer friend that is willing to let you borrow or have their old tobacco sticks. For years I have used tobacco sticks or wood posts to create trellis structures. Below are pictures of the past ways I have used tobacco sticks and wood posts in my gardens.

7. Wooden ladders are perfect for creating a natural trellis and arbor. I recommend looking further into ladder trellis gardening, because there are some beautiful little creations out there. Oh lord, I'm starting to sound like Bob Ross (I watched a lot of Bob Ross this winter and created Bob Ross inspired paintings you can see here: Holiday gift paintings.)




8. Wood Pallets of course are very useful in the garden.


9. Even a recycled water drum that has the metal cage on the outside will grow a vining plant. Two years ago, I grew Luffa gourds on a water drum which used the metal cage to vine. Look in your shed, look in the woods, look around your yard, house, or other scrap/junk yards for recycled materials that will allow you to assemble a trellis or arbor structure.

10. Bamboo is a durable material when dried. And usually bamboo is plentiful considering even in Kentucky where there is cold winters, we have bamboo growing invasive in places around creeks.
Bamboo is great for creating small trellis structures. I have used bamboo in the past as a natural material to trellis peas, but the bamboo was cut early and had not been given any time to dry out, so I recommend this step before using bamboo.

11. Golf clubs or any metal pole.



Of course, there are many more materials that work for creating a trellis or arbor in your garden. It's up to to explore your surroundings and to be unique.

-Cassie K
Original post @
11 Recycled & Natural materials for Free Trellis & Arbor ideas
Jan 5, 2017
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Atlantic Beach, Fl
Hardiness Zone
United States
This thread reminds me that I'm trying to figure out a way to mark some underground things that I need to be careful of when digging in the yard, i.e. the cable line and a water pipe. I've been thinking of maybe a small trellis-type device that I can place to run the lengths of the two lines I want to protect, but then I need to think of a plant that would go good with this...:confused:

Any ideas for a good plant to fit this need? It is a shaded area, with a woodland-like floor, under two big trees, Live Oak and Southern Magnolia.
Sep 10, 2014
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central Texas
United States
We may have a strange looking garden, but we don't waste anything that we can reuse! When we moved here there were bars over the patio doors (don't ask, I don't know why!) and looking at them I thought tomato trellises! We also had two pallets of bricks in front of the barn (again, don't ask) and they became edging for flower beds. There was a pile of cedar posts behind the barn, and those were made into tripods for pole beans (the neighbors thought I was hosting a family get-together for the tribe, and was setting up teepees for the relatives.)
I save styrofoam trays that hamburger comes in from the grocery, wash them thoroughly, and use them for watering trays for our seedlings. Hillshire Farms has luncheon meat in a plastic container that, when the glued on label is removed from the lid and the container is washed, makes a great freezer container. It's also dishwasher proof, so I can use it over and over again. After it has served its purpose, it goes into the garden, suspended from trellises or poles, to scare off birds.

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