Adding a trellis to your garden fence is not only a fantastic way to enhance the overall appearance of your outdoor space but it's also a great method to support climbing plants and create a more private garden atmosphere. However, securing a trellis to a fence needs to be done correctly to ensure it withstands weather conditions and the weight of plants as they grow. This blog post will guide you through the process of attaching a trellis to your fence securely.

Why Add a Trellis to Your Fence?

Before we jump into the how-to, it’s worth mentioning why adding a trellis to your fence can be a wonderful idea. Trellises provide support for climbing plants like roses, clematis, or ivy, turning a plain fence into a lush, green wall. They also add an extra layer of privacy and can serve as a decorative element in your garden.

Materials and Tools You'll Need:

  • A trellis
  • Measuring tape
  • Screws (weather-resistant if your fence is outdoors)
  • Rawl plugs (if attaching to masonry)
  • Drill with drill bits
  • Screwdriver or electric screwdriver
  • Spirit level
  • Optional: spacers to create a gap between the fence and trellis

Step 1: Choose the Right Trellis

The first step is to choose a trellis that fits your needs and aesthetic desires. Consider the size of your fence and the type of plants you intend to grow. You’ll want a trellis that’s durable and appropriate for outdoor use, especially if you're attaching it to an exterior fence.

Step 2: Measure and Mark the Position

Before attaching the trellis, decide where on the fence it will go. Use a measuring tape to find the exact position and mark it. It’s important to consider the growth of the plants and the potential shading areas to ensure your climbing plants receive enough sunlight.

Step 3: Prepare the Trellis

If your trellis doesn’t come pre-drilled, you’ll need to prepare it by drilling holes where the screws will go. Make sure these holes are slightly smaller than the diameter of your screws to ensure a tight fit.

Step 4: Drill Pilot Holes

Next, position your trellis against the fence where you want to attach it. Use the holes in the trellis as guides to mark the fence. Move the trellis aside and drill pilot holes in the fence. If you're attaching the trellis to a brick wall, you'll need rawl plugs to secure the screws, so ensure the pilot holes are the correct size for them.

Step 5: Attach Spacers (Optional)

If you want to create a gap between the trellis and fence for airflow or to prevent damp, now is the time to attach spacers. These can be small pieces of wood or metal that provide a stand-off from the fence.

Step 6: Secure the Trellis to the Fence

Line up the trellis with the pilot holes in the fence. Use a spirit level to ensure the trellis is straight. Once satisfied, insert the screws through the trellis and into the holes, tightening them with a screwdriver or electric screwdriver. Be careful not to overtighten and damage the trellis.

Step 7: Double-Check for Stability

After you’ve attached the trellis, give it a gentle shake to ensure it's securely attached. If it moves, check the screws again and tighten any that are loose.

Tips for Success

  • Always check for underground utilities before drilling into the ground near your fence.
  • Consider the mature size of the plants you plan to grow when selecting the size and strength of your trellis.
  • Regularly check the trellis and its attachments to ensure they remain secure, especially after severe weather conditions.


Attaching a trellis to your fence is a straightforward process that can significantly enhance the beauty and functionality of your garden space. By following these steps, you’ll ensure your trellis is securely attached and ready to support the lush growth of climbing plants for seasons to come. Remember, the stability of your trellis not only affects its longevity but also the health and growth of your plants.

Happy gardening!