Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Transformed by a Trellis Structure Can Make Garden a 'Living Room'

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Transformed by a Trellis Structure Can Make Garden a 'Living Room'

Article excerpt

Janet Crozier is not a life-long gardener. She didn't start digging in the dirt until she was in her 40s and confesses to making many beginners' mistakes like trying to grow plants she remembered from her childhood in Pennsylvania here in the hot, sunny climate of Florida.

But beginner or not, she has hit on one of gardening's hottest trends, if you can call something that has been around for hundreds of years a trend. She and her husband had a trellis installed in their San Marco back yard, and not just an ordinary trellis. Their trellis, more like a pergola really, reflects the architecture of their 1937 home and their love of the Arts and Crafts style.

Like Arts and Crafts itself, Crozier said, "It's [the trellis] simple but elegant. It's substantial. It's not frilly."

"Trellises are more popular than ever because people are treating their gardens as a user-friendly living area, sort of an outside room," said Byron Pantinakis, co-owner of B&D Renovations in Jacksonville. "I have definitely seen the number of requests for arbors, trellises, pergolas and such go up during the last couple of years." Other business owners around the First Coast are discovering trellises are a must-have item on many a gardener's list.

"I've been doing more and more of them," said Robert Nelson of Garden Room Landscape Design. "In the last five or six years, gardening has really taken off. Because of that, all the traditional garden features are following suit."

Trellises, arbors, gates and fences, gazebos -- anything that will support a vine -- are beloved for their variety of uses.

"Any garden's visual strength is a combination of many things," writes Pat Ross in Decorating Your Garden (Time-Life Books, $34.95). "The classical obelisks, trateurs (structures on which vines are trained), whimsical topiary forms and metal frames, towering arches and trellises, in addition to a variety of fine architectural salvage mark transitions, add height without blocking the view, define borders, mark an axis, flank an entranceway, supply focal points, and establish a sense of order and note of control. …

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