Hardscape Design Ideas

Make an Obelisk for Climbing Plants

Wooden obelisks suit almost any garden design. Use them draped with clematis or other flowering climbers to add height to a border, as a feature to flank an entrance or to create a focal point at the end of a walkway.

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Clematis Climbs an ObeliskEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited To help clematis climb this obelisk, tie garden twine between the struts for the tendrils to cling to.

When to Start: Any time
At Its Best: Depends on the plants' best seasons
Time to Complete: 1-1/2 hours

Materials Needed:

  • 4' x 8' pieces of 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" timber for uprights
  • 2 small remnants for template
  • 80 feet of 1-1/2" x 1/2" batten, cut into short lengths for horizontal struts
  • remnants of 1" x 3" timber for top plinth
  • 1 decorative finial
  • galvanized 1-1/2" screws
  • drill with countersinking bit
  • screwdriver
  • saw
  • nontoxic wood stain or wood preservative

Make a Template

First, make templates for the sides. Drive two screws halfway into a remnant, 5 inches apart, for the top of the obelisk. Drive two screws halfway into a second remnant, 20 inches apart, for the bottom. Lay remnants parallel to one another, 8 feet apart. Place two upright timbers between them to create a quadrangle shape.

Make Template For Sides Of ObeliskEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Create the Shape

Bring the top ends of the upright timbers up against the screws in the top remnant template, as shown. Repeat at the other end of the timbers, butting these up against the screws in the bottom remnant template.

Attach Sides of ObeliskEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Screw in a Batten

The uprights now form a fat triangular shape. Lay a piece of batten across the uprights, 12 inches from the bottom ends. Using the drill with the countersinking bit, make holes in the batten and uprights, and screw them together.

Screw Battens on ObeliskEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited
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Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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