When I salvaged a couple of headboards from a dumpster recently, I did it with the idea of turning them into trellises for climbing flowers. Headboards make super simple trellises for any garden and look great either left alone or dolled up. While one way to make an old headboard interesting is with paint or by stressing the wood, another fun option is to weave vines through the posts. Here is how I recently turned one of my salvaged headboards into a folksy trellis.
To create the look of a woven reed trellis, you will need large quantities of Virginia Creeper vine or other similar vine that grows 10 feet longer or more. Also needed are bypass pruners and some medium weight gardening wire.
Weaving the headboard
Set the trellis up in a shady part of the yard, propping it up so that it won’t fall. Starting with the thickest branches first, carefully wrap the vine along side one of the feet and work your way to the top, going around and around the post. Tie off the vine by tucking the end into one of the wrapped sections or use a piece of gardening wire to secure the vine in place. (The wire can be removed once the vines dry). Repeat on the other side.
Grabbing two or three sections of vine at a time, weave the vines around the rungs, tucking the ends under other vines as you run out. You can weave as little or as many vines as you want. Since I’ll be using this trellis for climbing nasturtiums, I used about 2 dozen vines in all to create the “basket weave” effect in the middle.
Once the headboard has been wrapped, it should be placed alongside the hot sunny side of a garage or fence. The ivy vines will dry in about a month and the leaves will fall off. This is the time to add other decorative touches if you would like. Garden centers have butterfly and fairie picks; a string of twinkle lights woven around the vines would look nice too.
The nice thing about headboards is that they come with posts that can be driven into the ground to hold them upright. Or, you can do what I do and just lean the headboard against a stump or the potting shed and train your flowers to climb up the trellis.
Using a headboard as a trellis is a great way to recycle something that doesn’t have much practical use elsewhere. Wrapping it with vines is an easy and simple technique that makes any headboard look like it belongs in the garden instead of the bedroom.
More by this contributor:
How to weave a grapevine wreath
5 great reasons to plant nasturtiums in your yard
6 high yield fruits and veggies to grow on a fence or trellis