Instructions for a Woven Garden Obelisk

Updated February 21, 2017

You can make your own willow garden obelisk and add charm to your garden. You can use it to support squash, pole beans or flowering vines. Making one is easy--it provides a rustic look and the cost is much lower than a formal firing strip structure.


Weaving an outdoor landscaping structure can be completed with twigs, or willow or bamboo. Willow, when freshly cut, can be woven into obelisks, arbors and any number of structures before it dries out. Willow is affordable and takes very little maintenance. Bamboo is very strong and lasts a long time. Other wood poles lying around your yard or scavenged from a nearby park after a wind storm may last a number of years. The bamboo is rigid and therefore cannot have a rounded top in the same way a willow obelisk can when it is made with the rods are green.

You also need materials to hold the poles and shape the structure. Here you have a broad choice--from rushes and grasses to leather, wire, twine, willow rods or bark strips. Determine which materials you can readily afford and will be easy to work with. If you plan to grow things on them, avoid metals that will get very hot in the sun and burn plants that touch them.


Essentially you will be building a tepee-type structure. You will want to gather six to 10 poles together, having them touch at the top and then spread out to a 1- to 3-foot diameter at the bottom. It makes the most sense to tie the tops together before you spread out the lower ends of the poles and weave the cording round the poles to keep them apart.

Another method is to place the poles around the edge of a pot filled with potting soil and then tie them together at the top. The pot method would keep the bottom ends more stationery, which would make the weaving an easier process.

After the top is joined, use whatever material you have chosen to begin weaving. Drop down a foot or two from the top and go in and out, over and under the rods for a width of two to four inches, whatever look appeals to you. You may choose to add another band of weaving a foot or two further down.

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About the Author

Jenny Landis-Steward has written reports for child welfare research for over 14 years. She has a master's degree in clinical psychology. She was the editor of two social service agency publications for seven years. Her economic thesis was an analysis of employment trends.