Sunday, April 15, 2012

Trellis as Window Awning

Looks boring! I expect
the new planting to add
interest as well as shade.
       Because we removed the trees that shaded the back kitchen window, the sun now creates an intolerable glare that forces us to close the drapes in the afternoon. My solution is to build a trellis to host a variety of climbing plants and provide shade, beauty, diversity, and maybe even a nibble of food.
       Consistent with my goal to use what is available here on our property, my first challenge was to identify suitably straight black locust posts growing in our back yard. I cut two fourteen feet posts (back), two eleven feet (front), two five feet  (side supports, front to back), and five ten feet.(to lay across the side supports). The ten feet posts are to support the plants that I hope will grow tall enough and provide the shade I want. I used a draw knife to remove the bark before planting the vertical posts two feet deep. My husband used four inch screws to attach the side supports and cross pieces.    
       The soil along the foundation was gravely, sandy stuff spread there after the addition in 1991 of what is now the kitchen. Not much has ever been planted in this spot; it has remained an eyesore made worse by the fact that the dogs like to dig holes along the foundation to lie in during the summer. There's also a low spot in the gutter and water has always fallen from there to wash the soil underneath. I sifted and amended the soil. I moved a big rock to below the low spot to reduce erosion and placed black locust logs nearby to direct runoff away from the house onto the gravel path. Since there is little space for plants between the foundation and the path, I dug out and amended the soil on the other side of the path as well. I left the hydrangea that is growing nearby (to the right in the photo) and a lone catnip plant. I moved two bleeding heart plants to the other side of the path. For interest and to keep the dogs out of the planting, I placed an old tree root to the left. This leaves the dogs' favorite resting hole available to them. I also pounded in stakes and strung string between them to keep the dogs out of the areas to be planted. Surprisingly, so far this has worked.
       What will I plant? My first thought was morning glories, but this window faces west, so that may not be the best choice. I'll plant some anyway, but I also will try moonflowers, a couple of climbing beans, maybe cucumbers, and some ground cover plants too, with borage and other fillers. Suggestions here are welcome as always.

1 comment:

  1. I don't have any suggestions for the plantings, but I love this concept for a trellis over a window.