How to make a plant obelisk

Build a rustic climbing frame for summer flowers such as sweet peas, runner beans and clematis with this easy step-by-step guide.

Green garden

As the growing season gathers pace, any sweet pea seedlings you have grown or bought will need to be transferred to their final position in your garden.

They will need support as they grow. This simple, rustic obelisk-shaped structure looks really effective in a mixed bed, and it’s thrifty, too. Edible peas, runner beans, morning glory or clematis can also be trained up your obelisk, and you can make several of different sizes to use among your planting.


You Will Need

  • willow or other sturdy branches, around 2-3 cm in diameter and 1-2 m long (you can forage for these in hedgerows) Secateurs  (At least five)
  • Garden twine
  • scissors

Step 1

Gather five branches from your garden or a hedgerow using the secateurs – ensure they are all similar in length, without side branches. Cut one end of each branch into a point.

Branch being cut

Step 2

Choose a sunny  spot in your garden and push your branches into the soil, equidistant from each other, to form a circle. Pinch the tips together to form a wigwam-like shape.

Branches in a circle

Step 3

Cut a piece of twine about 20cm long and tie the tops of the branches firmly together. Tie the end of your ball of twine to one of the twigs, just beneath the top of your wigwam.

Branches tied with twine

Step 4

Release a little twine from the ball and pass it behind and then around the next twig. Repeat, moving round and gradually down your wigwam to the base of the structure.

Branch with twine

Step 5

Tie the twine securely at the base. Plant the sweet peas (or other) alongside one of the branches and watch as they grow through the summer months to cover your wigwam.