Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Trellis the truth

I am a terrible perennial plant buyer. Which is a pretty bad confession to make, considering I keep a fairly large perennial garden. Which, ironically, seems to be doing pretty well.

Well, except last year, when I attempted plant-ocide with an overly ambitious application of weed and grass killer. 

Guilty as charged. And by the way, your honor, the label should have read "Weed, grass AND perennial killer." The defense rests.

But I digress. I AM a terrible perennial plant buyer. Mainly because I am a selective label reader. I tend to glaze over those, well, structural descriptors of a plant -- you know, height, width, invasive, climber, etc. etc. etc. -- because I'm too busy searching for the Five Golden Words: Drought tolerant. Thrives on neglect. 

Which brings me to Lathyrus latifolius, aka everlasting (promises, promises) sweet pea, that I bought last fall. It's going gang busters. . . . vertically.

Hmmmm. I could've sworn the label said "Shrub," hence the piece of 18-inch-tall trellis yard art I bought to tame it. LL has blown past said piece of yard art and is now tangling with its neighbors -- an sickly peony, poster child for the horticultural Love Canal I created last summer (did I mention, Lesson learned?), and Crazy Hedge, which until this weekend, looked like this:
Anyone else out there obsessed with enjoy HGTV's "Design Star"?
With the hedge trimmed courtesy of my date, I went in search of a taller trellis for LL. Bah! 30 to 40 bucks (and THAT's 30 percent off!) for a stinkin' trellis. I think not.

Sticker shock being the mother of invention, I decided to make my own damn trellis.


Leftover Aged pussy willow branches (willow branches are awesome as they age -- strong, flexible, lovely)
Garden twine
One (1) neighborhood cat

Step 1: Select 3 or 4 sturdy willow branches and stick them in the ground. Use pre-cut (you will thank me for this advice) lengths of garden twine to secure numerous horizontal willow branches to the vertical branches.

Step 2: Mistake loose shoelace for garden twine. Engage in several minutes of spirited tug-of-war with self. Realize you look like an idiot.

Step 3: Because you are sweaty, pollen-coated and slightly sunburned, become a neighborhood cat's temporary rubbing post. Remove cat from rolling on sweet pea vines.

Ben is not amused and takes steps to protect Skanky Tennis Ball.

Yes. STB is still with us.

Step 4: And then -- Voila!

We have a trellis. 

OK, OK. It's not Burj Khalifa.

But close enough.

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