By Jodi Torpey
Some of my favorite elements in an informal landscape, such as arches, arbors, and trellises, improve a garden’s vertical profile. These architectural accents—especially when covered in vines with interesting foliage or extravagant blooms—give the garden a lift.
That’s why I built a simple “flower tower” for my Lowe’s $100 challenge this year. The tower, inspired by a Lowe’s Creative Ideas project, turns three fan trellises upside down, creating a triangle of slats for vines to climb.
To create your own flower tower you need the following tools and materials. (The numbers are from the Lowe’s online catalog.)
- Handsaw or jigsaw
3 6-ft white fan trellises (#39291)
1 bag (30) cable ties (#292687)
1 6-in standard clay pot (#94450)
1 4-ounce tube adhesive (#220816)
2 cans Valspar satin spray paint, white and an accent color (I used Royal Garnet)
1 post cap finial (#7972)
Total cost for materials was $85.50, plus $12.94 for a 2.5-quart ‘Superba’ clematis.
Step 1: Paint the clay pot and finial. Spray the pot and finial with several layers of white paint and let them dry thoroughly. Use painter’s tape to mask any part of the pot and finial you’d like to keep white. Apply the accent color. Remove the tape when the accent paint is dry. Turn the pot upside down, insert the finial screw in the drainage hole of the pot, and glue the two pieces together. Let dry.
Step 2: Mark the slats. Use the ruler to mark all the edges of the horizontal slats so the pieces extend no more than ¾ inch beyond the vertical slats.
Step 3: Assure the trellis sits flat. With the yardstick make a straight line along the slats on the flared end of the trellis. This is to make sure the trellis sits flat on the ground. Cut the ends with the handsaw or jigsaw. Please use caution to protect fingers, hands and eyes while using either saw!
Step 4: Keep the pot secure. This step is optional, but it makes the clay pot sit more securely on top of the tower. Mark and cut the outer two vertical slats on each trellis at an angle, as shown.
Step 5: Attach the trellises. Stand the trellises on their fan ends to form a triangle. Attach the trellises, using two cable ties crossing each other, at the intersections where the horizontal slats meet. Place the clay pot with the finial on the top of the tower. Position the tower in the garden. For more stability press the vertical slats into the soil to the first horizontal slat.
Step 6: Planting. Plant your favorite climbing vines near the trellis. I chose Clematis jackmanii ‘Superba’ because it’s a fast grower with lovely summer-blooming purple flowers.
For a complete view of the finished product, please watch my Ode to a Flower Tower below.
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