Notes from the Garden

by Julie Hawley

I took delivery of a delayed Mother's Day gift this past Saturday! Our daughter, who lives in southern Wisconsin, was here this weekend with her family. They brought me this lovely garden trellis made from a livestock panel! They stopped at Fleet Farm in Menomonie on the way and were able to bend it to fit in the back of a pickup truck. I love it!

The trellis is a utilitarian design. By that I mean it isn't decorative or fancy, but will serve us well as a place for pole beans and cucumbers to climb. Those will be our first experiments, with many more to come I am sure.

The 16 foot long panel is arched with a height of about 6 feet, so we can walk underneath. I envision rows of lettuces growing on the floor there; the lettuce will appreciate a bit of shade, especially if these high temperatures continue. Phew!

Our daughter, Liz, has started a garden on their lot in Lake Mills, Wisconsin. She built two raised beds, and by adding a trellis between the two beds has in effect nearly doubled their garden space.

While we have plenty of space, I like the visual effect of a trellis in the garden. The added dimension increases my enjoyment of watching the plants grow and produce food. I hope the cucumbers will thrive up off the black plastic where we usually plant them, which tends to pool rain water. It should be easier to harvest pole beans too, while standing vs. bending over rows of bush beans. I am all about anything that makes the work in the garden easier on the body.

Gardens come in many shapes and forms. They are definitely not a one size-fits-all. When you find the type of garden that works for you, run with it.

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