Trellis ideas for gardens: 15 chic screens to add plants, privacy and color to your plot

Update your walls with these trellis ideas for gardens – from metal and modern to traditional wooden styles, plus more

flowery trellis ideas for gardens
(Image credit: Clive Nichols/Future)

Are you looking for trellis ideas for gardens? They're a simple way to breathe new life into uninspiring walls or garden fences. Trellises are not just for supporting climbing plants, either. These sturdy structures are also fantastic when used as screens between zones, or to divide your backyard from your neighbor's. Less imposing than a solid wall, they allow air and light through, and can be softened by scented flowers and green foliage for a romantic, soothing scene. 

Of course, there are plenty of styles of trellis to choose from, too. From intricate designs with tightly-arranged battens to modern slatted looks plus more, it's easy to suit your personal taste and the theme of your plot. If you fancy getting creative, you can even paint them a show-stopping color to add interest to your garden fence ideas – a perfect feature for the summer months.

So, if you fancy some stylish trellis ideas for gardens to update your space, then we're here to help. Our round-up of chic designs below is sure to have you inspired.

1. Go modern with metal

Charlbury wall trellis from Garden Trading with planter

The Charlbury wall trellis from Garden Trading brings a modern twist to a classic style

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Good trellis ideas for gardens can be used to lift the exterior of your home office building or shed. When secured, they'll provide all the support needed for a pretty climbing plant to add tons of visual interest and make the scene more inviting.

A metal grid design like this is a twist on the classic wooden look, and offers a striking contrast against the white backdrop. A modern planter below adds to the contemporary vibe and gives space for more flowers and foliage. If you're going for metal, look for durable designs that will last for many years – this one above is crafted from powder coated steel (plus it includes hooks for easy installation).

Looking for more inspiration for your backyard? Our shed ideas feature is full of lovely styles.

2. Zone your patio

trellis as screen around patio

Separate your paved space from your lawn with your trellis ideas for gardens 

(Image credit: Jacksons Fencing)

If you're looking to define the borders of your patio, why not opt for a freestanding trellis?

This one is combined with a pergola-style fence and provides a pocket of shelter for a paved area. Wrapped around the corner of the space, it is also effective in visually distinguishing the zone. Plus, it will offer dappled shade as the sun moves around the plot.

If you position a flowerbed beneath then you'll have the opportunity to add in plenty of climbing plants too, which will clamber up as they establish. A seating spot surrounded by fragrant sweet peas or clematis is always a lovely addition to a garden.

3. Provide a textural backdrop

plants displayed on a rustic ladder step

The smaller gaps in this trellis make it ideal for upping a garden's privacy levels

(Image credit: Colin Poole/Future)

If you're looking to use a trellis to boost the privacy levels in your plot, or to add to your garden screening ideas, then this design might be the one for you. With its tightly criss-crossed battens it provides an attractive and textural alternative to a fence. The view of next door will be suitably obscured, yet light and air will still flow through the gaps.

We adore the pale grey hue of the wood which keeps the intricate style looking pared-back and unimposing. Positioned behind an upcycled stepladder adorned with container gardening ideas, it makes a perfect backdrop.

4. Combine with an arbor

trellis ideas for garden as abor

Attach a rose-covered arbor to your trellis ideas for gardens for an enchanting entranceway

(Image credit: Photimageon/Alamy Stock Photo)

Have you taken a look at our garden arbor ideas yet? These structures are a fabulous way to frame a feature of your plot – be it a pathway, bench, or gate. They're a great match for trellis ideas if you want to establish a subtle divide between different garden 'rooms'. 

A rambling rose climbing over the top, as seen here, will offer a charming dose of romance. We think that the addition of garden gate ideas to this scene would make a lovely final flourish as well as defining the entrance to the zone further.

5. Hang planters from a sturdy slatted style

black modern trellis ideas for garden with hanging planters

Black and grey make a chic color combo for contemporary trellis ideas for gardens

(Image credit: Joanna Henderson/Future)

Trellises can be fit for modern garden ideas, especially if you opt for sleek, slatted designs. We love the combo of black and grey in this scene – it's always a sophisticated palette for a contemporary plot.

Hanging planters full of tumbling, verdant foliage lift the look. Meanwhile, giant earthenware pots beneath add a more rustic and textural edge, balancing the clean lines up top.

Used in this way, trellis ideas for gardens can be seen as nifty storage solutions as well. With the help of a few hooks you can hang up tools or even a watering can for easy access when you're busy outdoors. You could also hang small lanterns from your trellis to up the ambience when night falls – LED candles are a great choice as they look like the real thing but without the fire hazard.

6. Surround your front door with flowers

flowery trellis ideas for gardens

Combine your trellis with climbing cottage-garden favorites for a stunning scene

(Image credit: Clive Nichols/Future)

A trellis can bring tons of beautiful blooms to your front garden ideas when positioned by a door. A feature like this is nothing short of gorgeous – a lovely way to welcome you and your guests to your home.

The frame is made from narrow overlapping branches which creates a rustic, country-cottage look – a fitting backdrop for sumptuous clematis and apricot-toned roses. What's more, the display will fill the air with fragrance to be enjoyed every time you pass by.

7. Bring a boost of color to your fence

patio gardening ideas: pink trellis

Make a playful statement with your trellis ideas for gardens 

(Image credit: Jamie Mason/Future)

If you fancy adding a splash of color to your outdoor space this season, then a trellis is a great way to do it. This hot pink number is bound to turn heads and instantly brings a playful note to the scene. 

If you're not too sure about pink, then how about an azure blue, a zesty yellow, or a neon orange to pep up a lacklustre fence? It's a great way to experiment with color without painting the entire backdrop in a bold hue.

Our guide to the best exterior wood paint is sure to come in handy if you're eager to recreate the look.

8. Provide extra privacy in urban plots

trellis around seating area for privacy

Add a trellis to the borders of your plot for a boost of privacy

(Image credit: Andreas von Einsiedel/Alamy Stock Photo)

Are you the owner of an urban garden? Then you're likely to want some stylish garden privacy ideas to make your space feel more exclusive. The best garden parasols are great to deter prying eyes from overhead, but a line of trellis is also a good option for adding height to the surrounding boundaries when attached to the top of a wall.

If you already have a high wall around your plot, then adding a trellis across the top half will break up the look, providing additional visual interest to the vertical space. It also enables the opportunity for living walls, which is great for smaller plots that are crying out for more greenery.

9. Paint it in a soothing shade

slatted trellis with climbing plant

Paint your trellis ideas for gardens in a pastel tone for a tranquil feature

(Image credit: Mark Bolton/Future)

Okay, so we've covered brightly-colored trellis ideas for gardens, but don't forget that you can use paint as part of a more soothing scheme, too.

Pastel tones, such as this pale sage, are a lovely choice if you want to give your trellis a calming presence. It's also a good option for brightening shady plots. Try covering a slatted design like the one above in delicate star jasmine (which will tolerate part shade) for an elegant feature.

Looking for more flower and foliage ideas to pair with your structure? Our guide to the best climbing plants has plenty.

10. Go for blue hues

blue trellis on wall with tulips

This blue trellis complements the glossy tulips in front beautifully

(Image credit: imageBROKER/Alamy Stock Photo)

When thinking about the color for your trellis, consider the palette of the flowerbed ideas that you wish to grow nearby. After all, the trellis will serve as a backdrop, so you want the two to complement one another.

A deep blue makes a stunning choice when combined with refreshing green leaves and pops of purple from glossy tulips. In this scene, it also brings a modern edge to the weathered cladding behind. 

Want to provide a little bit of extra support for your climbers? A sheet of chicken wire attached to the lower half of your trellis is a subtle yet effective method for creating a denser screen. Once the plants have established, the wire will be more or less hidden.

11. Combine with a half wall

half wall half trellis in garden

An elegant trellis by Jacksons Fencing adds height to this wall

(Image credit: Jacksons Fencing)

This is a perfect example of how a sturdy trellis can be used to elevate garden wall ideas. Go for warm, honey-hued wood to complement a red brick style for laid-back yet smart results. A monochrome look would work well with more contemporary-style walls.

It's a great way to enhance the divide between you and your neigbors without making the space feel too 'boxed-in'. We love the addition of a suspended planter too, for a decorative finish.

12. Add character with gothic trellis ideas for gardens

Barrington Arch trellis from Garden Trading

The Barrington Arch trellis from Garden Trading adds an ornate accent to a garden

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

If you're looking to add a dose of character to your backyard then opt for trellis ideas that are more ornate in style. This metal design oozes with gothic appeal and is a timeless choice. Over time, it will take on a rusted appearance which will only add to the old-world charm.

Even without climbing plants it's an effective way to break up a blank wall or fence. However, the delicate criss-cross design will offer ample support to clambering vines if you fancy adding more greenery to the scene.

13. Match your pergola for a stylish shelter

modern seating zone with black trellis surrounding

Surround a seating space with a trellis and pergola for a cozy vibe

(Image credit: Andreas von Einsiedel/Alamy Stock Photo)

Have you introduced some of our pergola ideas into your garden? Then trellised sides can be a great addition. 

Used together, the structures will form a sheltered and intimate spot that's the ideal space for relaxing or hosting dinner parties outdoors. 

Paint them in a matching color for a sense of harmony (you could even paint the decking below to match too, as seen here). We love the cocooning sense of this inky black shade, punctuated by soft leafy greens.

14. Go traditional with super-sized designs

large green trellis structure in english garden

Give a large hedge architectural definition with the use of an oversized trellis

(Image credit: Victor Watts/Alamy Stock Photo)

Granted, this idea is a little (a lot) more elaborate. But, if you have the space and a fondness for traditional-style gardens, then a design like this might be perfect for your plot. 

The super-sized trellis gives the large, dense hedge a more architectural look, turning it into an impressive focal point for the space. Meanwhile, the arched doorway frames the sculpture within the structure beautifully, evoking a sense of intrigue.

We adore the topiary too, which enhances the classic yet verdant theme. Our best garden shears guide is a great place to start if you want to create your own.

15. Opt for a trellis and planter in one

Green hairstreak paint from Thorndown Paints on trellis and planter

This trellis-planter combo is painted in the delicate 'Green Hairstreak' shade from Thorndown Paints

(Image credit: Thorndown Paints)

When looking for trellis ideas for gardens, consider one that is already attached to a container. It's a great choice if you're after an easy solution to grow climbing plants, especially if you're a little short on space.

Make it your own by painting it in a color to suit your theme. We adore how this design has been given a lift with a very soft green which offsets the pastel flowers well.

Our garden planter ideas feature has plenty of inspiration if you're looking to bring more containers into your plot.

What is the best material for a trellis?

clematis growing up trellis

The rich tones of clematis look gorgeous against a classic wooden trellis

(Image credit: Ros Crosland/Alamy Stock Photo)

'Trellis is normally made from timber, steel, plastic, or wire,' says Leigh Barnes of Jacksons Fencing. However, 'the best material depends on the type of finish you want for your garden, and how durable it needs to be for its required purpose.' 

'When opting for timber trellis, we recommend that it is manufactured from pressure-treated timber to protect it against common problems such as rot and insect attack. Importantly, trellis is often combined with climbing plants, and plants attract insects, so this is crucial.'

'Similarly, steel trellis should be constructed from galvanized steel to protect it from rust and corrosion,' Leigh continues. Overall, metal and wood are the strongest materials for trellis, he adds. Strength is essential when training plants up the structure, as they will need to support the weight of the plants as they grow.

How do you anchor a freestanding trellis?

'As with any fence or trellis panel, it must be installed between fence posts which are cemented into the ground,' advises Leigh Barnes of Jacksons Fencing. 'The fence posts should ideally be made from timber and be slotted, to allow the trellis to be securely fixed to the posts with timber screws.' 

'Gravel boards should be used to protect the trellis panel from coming into contact with the ground, and will also act as support for the base of the panel,' he adds.

If you need more DIY advice, our guide on how how to install fence panels has lots of useful tips.

How do I attach a trellis to a fence or wall?

triangular trellis ideas for garden from Homebase

A triangular design is a classic choice for trellis ideas for gardens – this one is from Homebase

(Image credit: Homebase)

'Trellis is highly versatile and can be attached either on the front face of a fence or wall, on top of the fence or wall, or just in front of it as a freestanding structure,' says Leigh Barnes of Jacksons Fencing. However, if you're looking to attach it to the face of a fence or wall, then he shares his advice:

  1. Before you get started, it's advised to check how sound the wall or fencing is, especially if you're planning to attach a heavy trellis panel. Remember, it will need to take the weight of the panel and the plants that grow up it.
  2. Timber battens should be affixed to the wall or fence first onto which the trellis can be mounted, to ensure that plants have space to grow and air can circulate.
  3. Fix the battens to the fence or wall at the points where the top and bottom of your trellis will sit. If your trellis is particularly big, you may want to add one in the middle too.

'If you want to add trellis to the top of your fence, we recommend opting for a shorter fence panel installed between slotted posts,' adds Leigh. Then, 'simply slide the trellis topper panel on top of the fence panel.'

Holly Crossley
Holly Crossley

The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then. She's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator – plants are her passion. But, she loves all things digital too. She joined the team at Gardeningetc after working as a freelance content creator for a web agency, whilst studying for her M.Sc. in Marketing. Now she feels lucky enough to combine both digital and botanical worlds, every day!