I purchased two plants that required staking or support of one kind or another. In the hopes of adding some color to the wall of green that is my back lot line, I got a morning-glory and a scarlet runner bean. The scarlet runner bean is supposed to be both gorgeous AND edible — a two-fer! How could I pass it up?
At first I just created a tiny teepee from some bamboo-ish garden sticks I had around. You probably know the ones; they are the kind that turn your hands green if you handle them too much. After a few weeks of patient observation, it occurred to me that the poor things had nowhere to go and since the bean’s tag claimed it could get up to 10 feet tall, I decided to revise my initial strategy. It required some creativity, because I didn’t want to spend a lot and because, well, it’s just more fun when you make it yourself. I enlisted some child labor (my own children, breathe easy) and we embarked on a little project. It was quite rudimentary and didn’t need much in the way of equipment or tools, as you can see below.
After we got the “posts” painted (and dried, smarty pants) it was time to assemble the structure. For whatever reason, I decided the time to do this was 7:30 p.m., exactly the time when my kids get ready to go to bed. Why? Who knows, but that’s when I started to try to saw the ends of the posts into points, which in my mind would make them go into the ground better. That proved to be more difficult than I thought. The crazy things jiggled right out of my grip as I tried to saw them, or they twisted and escaped from me that way. But I was not proud and I went inside and dragged my sweet, long-suffering husband out and convinced him to saw the posts. It took him all of three minutes (for the record, he did not cut them into a point per se, he just sliced the end off at an angle. Not exactly what I had in mind, but it still served the purpose). Fully committed at that point, I had to get the thing constructed before I could call it a night, but the mosquitos were coming out and the children were crabby, so I had to do it quickly.
Once I had the posts pointy, I started digging holes in the back of the garden. Then I got the staple gun and the climbing material for the plants. Stapling like the wind, I got the thing started and managed to avoid squishing the plants I was trying to support (don’t ask me about any other plants!). After getting the kids to bed, my sweetie came out again and helped me complete as much as we could, since I ran out of climbing material. Then we went inside.
When my helpful husband came home from work the next night, he asked me if we were going to hold a ski race in the backyard. Puzzled, it took me a full 30 seconds to figure out what he was talking about. I’ll let you see if you agree with his assessment.
Despite the current ugliness, I’m willing to reserve judgment until the flowers have fully covered the “trellis” and bloomed. If it still looks industrial after that point, then I will admit defeat. And it is possible that the green colored plastic fencing might have been more subtle; however, the trellises I’ve seen are so frequently white that I was swayed by my preconception — I could only be creative to a certain degree. So again, it is possible that my brilliant plan might not turn out as I intended. There is still the outside chance that it will all work out. Until it doesn’t work out, I remain hopeful. That’s what gardening is all about anyway, right?