My first winter as a gardener and I’m learning all the time. So what have I learnt about winter? I’ve learnt that its a time to take stock of hardscaping projects and getting these done. As many plants die back or hibernate it seems to me one now has the space, time and because it is not so hot one also has more enthusiasm for diy. So whilst this is not quite as strenuous or ambitious as building your own raised bed garden, here is my diy project which finally got off the ground this week.

And anotherI have a number of Trachelospermum jasminoides ‘Star Jasmine’ (known as Confederate Jasmine in the Northern Hemisphere) that were planted by the landscaper last year. I never quite understood the objective of this planting as it is against the wall (good) but the plants are tightly wound around a stake (not good). When I say tightly wound, I mean really tightly – the way they are sold at the nurseries (see photo on the left). The plants had “nowhere to go” and as a result they were going nowhere – no light getting into the plant and they have just been “sitting” there, not flowering, not growing much either – just these weird plantings of “a stick with stems and leaves wrapped around them”.

I realised that the solution would be a trellis so that I could unwind the plants from the stakes and “set them free” to do their thing. Actually, it was a blog post by Jess of the blog “Children of the Corm” that really inspired me to get my ‘a into g’ and get this done. (See her post here). Although her post is actually about her now famous statue, I just love her Star Jasmine that is the background to her lovely statue and I love how it grows there – perhaps when mine looks like that one day I might get a lovely statue for that area too.

So here are the photos of before and after.

Before and during …

Tightly bound and going nowherePlants tightly bound and going nowhere

Nails drilled into wallNails drilled into walls

Fishing line wound around the nailsFishing line wound around the nails

A close view of the “trellisClose up view of the lines

The line we used was fishing line chosen because it is transparent and very strong. From a distance (a few feet) you don’t notice the nails either. Once the plants have grown a bit I think we won’t see any nails.

And After …

I have now unwound the plants from their stakes and guided them onto the new “trellises”. It was a bit like unravelling balls of wool that had become all tangled up. I managed not to break any stems in the process but it took a lot of care – at one stage I thought it would be much easier to just cut them all but then I would have little to train onto the new supports so I persevered and did the untangling with lots of love and care.

Unbound with somewhere to go (grow)Unbound with somewhere to go (grow)

Same plants, different viewUnbound with somewhere to go (grow)

From the side …Detail view

Close up viewDetail view

You like? I do, I think it will look better given some time. How long do you think it will take for them to fill out? I do hope it will be soon.

Full view

Happy Gardening