I’m a big fan of reinforcement mesh (aka reo mash) as a material to use for making simple and super strong and versatile structures for plants to grow on.
I’m always keeping an eye out for scraps of the meh at our local tip shop, alas it’s highly sort after. So recently I splurged (it’s around $200 for a full sheet) so I could get on with building the archways of my recent garden dreams.
A full sheet is 6m long x 2.4m and can be used whole, or cut up as you want. I cut mine up into three lengths (with an angle grinder) of 6m to make three arches. Perfect.
Me, trying to demo the reo’s bendy-ness – which is actually pretty hard on tight angles!
The arches I made covered a 3m wide pathway and went between two drastically different levels, so it wasn’t the easiest install – definitely a two person job. Each arch needed four star pickets (one at each corner) dug in around 500mm – I used tie wire to attach the reo to the mesh (see image below).
At the base of each of the arches on the high side I planted some native evergreen vines, including Macquarie vine (Muehlenbeckia gunnii) and Wonga vines (Pandorea pandorana). The other lower side has a row of existing grapes – I’ll be training some of their branch up and over so there’s a mix of deciduous and evergreen vines. This is so (in our cool temperate climate), there’s always something green growing on there which helps hold the space visually year-round.
Importantly, all these vines are super vigorous, so I’ll be pruning them pretty tightly to make sure they stay under control. A job I’m happy to take on :-).
And once finished, they look like this! They’re a bit hard to see without anything growing on them, but they’ll be smothered within a few years. Very much looking forward to basking in the dappled shade of natives and delicious grapes.