Tuesday, June 26, 2012

DIY Rustic Garden Obelisk

It's hard to believe that just 3 years ago, the honeysuckle vine growing up our 9' homemade obelisk was only about a foot high.

This photo was taken during the very early stages of our backyard makeover. I had serious doubts that the honeysuckle would ever climb to the top.

 But the first summer after planting it, it had already reached the top of the obelisk. As you can see, the structure was still visible back then. Over the past three years, the vine has grown so thick that you can no longer see the obelisk, and it has grown so tall that the top vines cascade down after they've reached the top of the obelisk.

Now Mr. Blue Jay can easily admire it from the top of the swing set.

This year we gathered up some smaller branches to make a shorter obelisk for Cardinal Climber, an annual vine. (Due to the freak October snowstorm last year, we have an abundance of branches!) We wired the branches together toward the top and spread the bottoms to form a free standing teepee-style structure.

We then staked every other 'leg' by driving small wood spikes into the ground and then using wire to attach the legs to the stakes. Unlike the perennial honeysuckle vine, I started this annual cardinal climber vine from seed. This photo was taken back about 5 weeks ago, on May 19th.
Note: For the larger 9' obelisk that supports the perennial honeysuckle vine, we staked every leg with long metal spikes that hubby purchased from a hardware store, and then attached each leg to the spike with heavy duty wire.

I think I should have started them inside, much earlier in the season, because they're growing very slowly.

The plant inside the center pot kind of fizzled out, so today I put Mr Rabbit inside the obelisk.

While waiting for the vines to grow, we can at least enjoy the backyard critters who have begun to hang out there.  Here's Sammy enjoying a peanut... (please ignore the fact that our ongoing garden project desperately needs more bark mulch to hide the landscape fabric. Hopefully next year we'll have some extra funds for bark mulch!)

...while Mr. Blue Jay is waiting for one to be tossed his way.

*** Just as a watched pot never boils, a watched vine never grows. ***

Since the honeysuckle's bloom time will soon be coming to an end, the hummers and I will have to practice some patience while waiting for this new vine to bloom.

 And when (if) it does bloom, I'll be sitting right in that blue chair watching my little hummers flitting from blossom to blossom!

COMMENT UPDATE: I was asked what variety honeysuckle vine we planted.

I wish I kept a gardening log, but the best I do is try to stick the original labels into the ground by the base of whatever I plant. Sometimes they stay, sometimes, they blow away. I just ran outside and thankfully the original tag was right where it should be so I snapped this photo of it next to one of the blooms on my vine. I can't say enough about the Major Wheeler honeysuckle vine. I do not have a green thumb. Despite that, this vine blooms profusely and for a very long period, even for me! From personal experience I can assure you that it does indeed attract hummingbirds, however I can honestly say I have never seen a single butterfly on the vine, even though the tag says it attracts them as well.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!



Lynn B said...

I love your yard! This is how I want mine to look, I hope you don't mine,I am printing these pic's! What kind of honeysuckle is that? My blooms are white/yellow. I have never seen the obelisk, but I am making me one this weekend. Sigh, wish I could just wave a wand!! Hugs, Lynn

Ann said...

You do have an enchanting yard, I love all the work you have done. The bunny looks so sweet sitting there. That blue bird looks like hes posing for you.

A New England Life said...

What an incredible difference! Sometimes our plants truly surprise us. And sometimes they are such a disappointment. Your backyard is a sanctuary, Donna.

Btw, I save all my perennial tags in a folder ; )