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How to Create a Rose Trellis Arch

Trellis panels enhance and transform a plain arch into a featured garden centerpiece. Learn how this simple structure can make roses come to life.

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Added Trellis Panels Transform Simple Arch

Traditional rose-covered archways look wonderful, especially in a country setting, framing entrances into flower or vegetable gardens. One of the easiest ways to make such an archway is to extend a simple wooden arch by adding trellis panels. These panels create a framework onto which rambling roses (or other climbing plants) will grow, and by enclosing the arch on either side in this way, the mystery of the space beyond will be maintained. The following instructions are based on a simple wooden arch kit with 8 feet (2.4 m) posts.
A few things to keep in mind when constructing a trellis: Buy pre-assembled trellis panels to save time and trim to the required size if necessary. Use treated trellis panels in the arch and for the side panels; newly sawn edges should be smoothed down and treated with preservative. Make sure to also support trellis panels in a level position with blocks of wood before attaching.

Materials needed:

a constructed simple wooden arch
set square
hammer or mallet
club hammer
marking pegs
string
driving tool
level
drill
screwdriver
2 narrow sections of treated trellis panels, suggest 6 feet (1.8 m) tall
2 large square trellis panels, suggest 4 feet (1.2 m) tall
2 spiked metal post supports or "shoes"
2 treated wooden posts, at least 3x3 inches (7.5x7.5 cm), suggest 4.5 feet (1.35 m) tall
8 galvanized panel clips
rustproof screws and nails
2 ball finials (optional)
sandpaper
wood preservative

1. Start with your arch.

The basic wooden arch may be extended into a traditional rose arch; slot narrow trellis sections between the front and back posts and add a trellis panel to each side of the existing arch.

Start Trellis Project with Basic Arch

Courtesy of DK - Arches & Pergolas © 2000 Dorling Kindersley Limited

2. Attach the trellis panels.

Trim the narrow trellis sections to size if necessary, then slot into the side of the arch, keeping the base just above ground level. Check the panel is straight, then screw to the top, middle, and bottom of both posts.

3. Determine the exact position of the supporting post.

Hold the side trellis panel absolutely flush between the front arch post and the shoe of the metal support. Mark precisely where the post support should be.

Hold Trellis Panel Flush Between Posts and Support

Courtesy of DK - Arches & Pergolas © 2000 Dorling Kindersley Limited

4. Set the panel aside.

Drive the metal post support into the ground with the driving tool or a block of wood. Insert the post, check that it is straight, and screw into the support.

Drive Metal Support Post Into Ground

Courtesy of DK - Arches & Pergolas © 2000 Dorling Kindersley Limited

5. Slot the panel in.

Keep it above ground and level with blocks of wood. Mark where the panel clips will go (in line with trellis cross beams) near the top and base of the new post.

Slot Trellis Panels in Place Between Arch and Post

Courtesy of DK - Arches & Pergolas © 2000 Dorling Kindersley Limited

6. Nail the panel clips to the post.

Secure them to the top and bottom markings. Repeat exactly opposite on front arch post.

Nail Panel Clips to Trellis Support Post

Courtesy of DK - Arches & Pergolas © 2000 Dorling Kindersley Limited

7. Slot the panel into the panel clips.

Screw the four clips to the crossbeams of the trellis panel.

Screw Clips to Crossbeams of Trellis Panel

Courtesy of DK - Arches & Pergolas © 2000 Dorling Kindersley Limited

8. Decorate the trellis.

If you wish, screw in a ball, acorn, or other style finial on each post to provide a neat finishing touch.

Add Finial to Support Post as Finishing Touch

Courtesy of DK - Arches & Pergolas © 2000 Dorling Kindersley Limited

9. Add the final panels.

When you have done one side of the arch, erect the trellis panels on the other side in exactly the same way. After all four panels are completed, it is wise to check that the posts are firm and that the panel clips are screwed tight. Sand down any rough edges, then treat any cut and exposed ends of lumber with preservative. You are now ready to plant the climbing or rambling roses of your choice.

Finished Trellis Arch is Ready for Rambling Roses

Courtesy of DK - Arches & Pergolas © 2000 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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Arches & Pergolas © 2000 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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