ISSUE   |  Children's Garden

Design Sleuth: Espaliered Vines

May 29, 2013 3:00 PM

BY Michelle Slatalla

Well-behaved vines soften the message of a security fence in a suburb on the edge of Sydney, Australia. Landscape designer Anthony Wyer built scaffolding and trained bougainvillea to grow on it. Here’s how to recreate the look to make any fence look friendlier.

Above: Photograph via Anthony Wyer + Associates.

It looks like a lot of work, but all it takes to get the look is a fast-growing vine and some inexpensive hardware store purchases to create a trellis for it. 

Above: Photograph via Healthy Home Gardening.

In Australia and similar warm climates, Bougainvillea Glabra is a fast grower. A white Bougainvillea ‘Ms. Alice’ is available seasonally from Stokes Tropicals; $29.95. 

In colder climates where bougainvillea won’t survive the winter, you can train wisteria against a wall. For step-by-step instructions see DIY: Train a Wisteria Vine Not to Eat the House.

Above: Make a grid using inexpensive hardware purchases (you can also buy them from Sears). A sturdy component is a 3.75-inch-long stainless steel Lag Eye Bolt (Top) is $1.99 apiece; Stainless Steel Cable is $62 for a 125-foot roll, and Stainless Steel Turnbuckles are $24.05 for a package of ten.

Above: Anchor the bolts into the fence posts create a grid pattern. Then thread the cable through the bolts.

For more fast-growing vines, see Alternatives to Ivy: Vertical Growers.