Adjustable Garden Trellis

Review Explaining Its Good and Bad Points

Adjustable garden trellis.
Picture showing the top part of the garden trellis: a bracket (screwed to a post) from which cords hang down. Cords are attached via cord locks. David Beaulieu

If it is especially important to you to have an adjustable height garden trellis in your backyard that is uniform in color (black), then the Cascade Gardens adjustable height garden trellis could offer the right design for you. This reviewer, however, would rather build his own "adjustable height" garden trellis, using strings and stakes (see below).

Product Pros and Cons

This garden trellis is versatile because of its adjustable height.

But two disadvantages must be mentioned:

  1. It is difficult to screw the bracket into a post properly.
  2. It is difficult to adjust the cords so as to have them hang straight.

Observations About the Cascade Gardens Product

  1. The directions that come with the garden trellis say to trim excess cord at the bottom when you are done with adjustments....
  2. But it seems a good idea not to do so, since you might need the extra length for a future garden trellis project....
  3. If you do not cut the excess cord, though, it detracts from the looks of the adjustable garden trellis....
  4. The garden trellis will stand about 6 feet tall, maximum.
  5. The trellis does not touch the ground....
  6. The weight bar should hover about 2 inches above ground level (assuming the vines you are growing are planted in the ground)....
  7. If you like this feature and would like to mimic it in your own design, attach ornamental weights to your strings....
  1. Unlike stakes, you can let the ornamental weights dangle just off the ground.

Review: Adjustable Garden Trellis

Boasting an ingenious design, the Cascade Gardens adjustable height garden trellis is clearly not a conventional garden trellis -- one look at the picture here will reveal that. Upon seeing its cords hanging down, one may well be reminded, instead, of a harp.

 The general idea behind this garden trellis is that plastic cords hang from a metal bracket, offering climbers a route of ascension. Because you are dealing with a cord (which can be trimmed to the desired length), you automatically have an adjustable height garden trellis design. "Nothing really ingenious so far," perhaps you protest; and you would be right.

But here is where one can admire the ingenuity of those responsible for the design: To keep the cords straight (theoretically), a weight bar (a metal bar that matches the black bracket) is attached to the bottoms of the cords. And the cords are fastened to both the bracket and the weight bar by cool plastic gizmos termed "cord locks" that operate on the male-female principle that you will be familiar with if you are used to tinkering around with a variety of fasteners.

Picture each cord lock as a plastic egg in two parts, which are threaded together. There is a hole running right through the middle of the plastic egg, through which you thread a cord (after threading it through the bracket). The hole in one half of the egg goes through a male part, which tightens around the cord when it is threaded into the female part in the other half of the cord lock, thereby holding the cord in place.

Cord locks are used similarly at the bottom of the garden trellis, where the cords meet the weight bar. You can unscrew these "plastic eggs" to create slack for the necessary adjustments.

Ingenious design, huh?

All of which is not to say that this garden trellis could not stand some design improvements. For one thing, it is difficult to screw the bracket into the post. The screw holes on the bracket are situated in such a way as to make it impossible to line up your drill properly with the holes (assuming you wish to drill the screws in straight, that is).

A more serious problem with the design regards the use of the cord locks. While ingenious in principle, adjusting the cords via the cord locks is tedious work -- and you may never really be satisfied that the cords on this garden trellis looked straight enough, no matter how much you tinker with them.

Of course, this will not matter once vines grow up the cords, thereby covering them. But while you are waiting for the vines to grow, the crooked appearance of the cords may bother you.

If you would rather design your own adjustable height garden trellis for that special climbing vine you wish to grow, it is simple enough to do:

  1. Start out by buying an appropriate bracket.
  2. Screw the bracket into a post.
  3. Tie pieces of string from the bracket (long enough to touch ground, plus a little extra), letting them hang down.
  4. Tie the other end of the each string to a camp stake (or any type of stake that has a "hook" in it, making it easy to secure a string).
  5. Pound the stakes into the ground.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.