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Breathe New Life into Lattice Gardens

When you imagine the perfect garden, there's a good chance there's a bit of lattice somewhere in your mind. With its classic overlapping grid structure, lattice is extremely versatile in terms of purpose and appearance and it can be designed to suit any style!

Here are a few suggestions for incorporating lattice into your garden layout no matter the space you have to work with, as well as a simple DIY lattice garden project, plus best practices to keep in mind.

Lots of Lattice Options

Lattice is an excellent choice for so many things due, in large part, to its simplicity. In essence, a lattice is a panel of wood or metal strips made into a grid. Lattice in its natural wood tone provides a wonderfully blended backdrop to highlight whatever you are growing or you can paint the lattice in any color you desire to add a pop to your backyard landscaping!

Lattice's crisscrossing patterns provide an obscuring structure that still allows light to penetrate through making it the perfect choice for outdoor privacy/shade screens. It is commonly used in garden structures such as gazebos, trellises, arches, arbors, pergolas and, yes, fences.

For the ultimate in privacy and charming elegance, a hybrid fence can be comprised of a solid fence base (lumber boards, brick or metal) with a latticework top. Because 1/2 to 2/3 of the fence is solid material, you have all the privacy you seek; at the same time, having a lattice top allows a natural growth of ivy or vines to soften the look.

At a minimum, having the semi-see-through lattice topper provides a break in the solidity of the fence. In short, this is the perfect balance of hard and soft garden elements!

Onward and Upward!

 

Lattice is so versatile because you don't even need an actual garden to use it – you can have the lattice first and then add the garden! The best part: since you're raising your roots, you can take advantage of the air up there even when you don't have lateral room to roam. Here's how you can create your own vertical garden in an afternoon.

You'll need:

 

  • A piece of vertical lattice
  • S-hooks (for hanging your plants)
  • A few of your favorite plants – or herbs for an indoor herb garden!
  • The same number of lightweight pots (with rims for hanging and drainage holes in the bottom)
  • Organic potting soil

 

Prepare your pots:

 

  • Fill about ½ way to the top with the potting soil
  • Gently squeeze the temporary planter to remove your plants by the roots, making sure to keep them intact
  • Place the plants in the pots making sure the roots are directly (flat) on the soil and that there is no air in between the roots and the soil
  • Fill the pot around the plant with soil and gently pack the soil in around the roots
  • Cover the top of the plant, leaving about ½ inch of space below the rim of the pot to prevent dirty overflow when you water
  • Water your plants upon completion of the transplanting

 

Hang the pots:

 

  • Attach the S-hooks to alternating rungs of the lattice "ladder" with enough space to allow for the pots to hang with room in between
  • Hang your pots from the S-hooks and arrange them in any pattern you like

 

This vertical garden can be used indoors or outside wherever you need a pop of green growth! The lattice can be attached to the side of the home or propped up against the garage or along a portion of the picket fence in the yard.

Back to Basics

Whether creating a garden area enclosed with lattice or building a garden structure out of lattice, follow these general guidelines for cutting lattice sheets to the appropriate dimensions:

 

  • Always take your time: rushing the cutting can cause splinters and breakage.
  • Lattice cutting is a two-person job: have someone else brace the sheet while you cut to prevent the sheet from flopping or sliding around.
  • Wear protective eye gear to shield your eyes from flying debris.
  • Wear gloves to not only improve your hold on the lattice sheet but also to protect your hands from splinters in the wood.

 

What new latticework garden projects are you now ready to tackle?

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Chris Long has been a Home Depot store associate in the Chicago suburbs since 2000. A writer for the Home Depot website, Chris provides tips on lattice and other outdoor living topics for homeowners.