DIY Garden Obelisk

Growing plants vertically is the ideal way to make the most of small spaces.

Build a simple obelisk to get more produce out of a small space.
Photo by Tracy Walsh

Traditionally found in formal gardens, obelisks are fancy plant supports that have four sides and a pyramid-shaped top. In ancient times, obelisks were impressive structures made of stone. These days, they’re usually made out of wood or metal.

Obelisks are visually interesting, and I’m a bit obsessed with them. They’re elegant features that add lots of interest and artistic appeal, as well as structure, to a garden. Obelisks can be found in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and they look just as nice without anything growing on them as they do covered with vining crops.

This version of the classic obelisk is 6 feet tall and extremely sturdy. Set it on a level spot, or sink it a few inches into the ground to ensure that it’s stable, and then use it to grow vining crops, such as cucamelons, cucumbers, small gourds, or mini-melons.

Let the wood age naturally to give the obelisk a more rustic feel, or paint the wood to keep the formal look and to add extra color to your vegetable garden. To make it even more classic, you can add a decorative finial on top, if desired.

Illustration by Tracy Walsh

Tools, Materials, and Cut List




Fall 2021!

Put your DIY skills to the test throughout November. We’re mixing full meal recipes in jars, crafting with flowers, backyard composting, cultivating mushrooms, and more!


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