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The Independent Culture
The sky's the limit;

as our 'Really Small

Gardens' extract reveals


flowers bloom shed the

Plants may be grown against walls and fences to create a two-dimensional cover or they may be encouraged to grow into a free-standing feature of the small garden. In either case, they will need to be given support. Traditional obelisks and square-sided columns are ideal for small spaces because they allow plants to grow upwards and not occupy too much floor space.

Most freestanding types are made from metal or timber and many can be simply pushed into the soil, needing no other support provided the chosen plants are neither too tall nor top-heavy. They come in a range of heights to suit to different plants.

Wire-framed obelisks are generally slimmer and more delicate in appearance and make ideal supports for climbers such as clematis.

Hollow columns built from timber or plywood can be used as freestanding features in the garden or they may become the upright piers for an arch. If they have open diamond-trellis sides, this allows a rose or clematis to be planted inside.

The traditional "wigwam" support for runner beans can be cheaply made at home from stripped branches or bamboo canes, lashed together with twine or raffia. They look effective for a season supporting lightweight annual or tender climbers such as sweet peas, asarina or Cobaea scandens.

Traditional trellis can also stand alone or be fixed to a wall. Purpose- made panels come in different patterns, like diamond, square or elongated rectangular. Always choose sturdy trellis rather than cheap, flimsy panels. Elaborate curved tops and finials will become a major decorative feature of the garden and may dominate the plants.

If you want plants to be the main attraction, keep to a simple flat-topped design of trellis and stain it a dark or neutral colour. Trellis panels also make slim space dividers for the small garden.