When it comes to gardening, one of my biggest influences is my nonna (Italian Grandmother). She utilizes all the space that she has, and she doesn’t grant aesthetics any undo importance. (Her garden is the one place where appearances don’t matter to her.) She has a cucumber plant growing in a mini bed on the plot of grass between the road and the sidewalk and tomatoes and fava beans flourishing in the flower bed beneath her front windows. It doesn’t matter to her that vegetables are traditionally absent from view from the road. She’s taught me to value functionality in gardening above all else.
So when it comes time to give my beans something to grow up, I don’t waste money purchasing a trellis. Instead I create my own, using materials we have on hand. My father and I keep a collection of sticks, that we collect when they fall from trees during storms; these sticks plus some twine make a perfectly functional trellis.
To make the trellis, plant the beans (or other vine/ creeper) in two long rows. Then place a row of sticks on the outside of each row and one row of sticks between the rows. Then weave the twine around the sticks to create a web, on which the beans can grow. Some people might describe my trellis as trashy or cheap, but I adore its old country, rustic appeal. Besides, when the beans begin to take over, the trellis will disappear into one giant bean bush.
How do you feel about store-bought trellises versus DIY? Do you plant vegetables in your flower beds, or other unusual places?