Two new pillars lift my garden to new heights


    Well, it certainly looks as if the obsession with honeysuckle pillars that I caught at Powis Castle Garden in North Wales earlier this month has already taken hold in my garden.

    At the weekend, I installed a large 6-by-6 timber post and planted two Goldflame honeysuckles at opposite corners.

    Close up of honeysuckle pillar.

    I first saw these pillars used in an attractive, repetitive design at the bottom garden at Powis Castle outside Welshpool.

    I loved the idea immediately and decided I would do the same thing as soon as I got back to my garden.

    My new honeysuckle pillar.

    My son, Peter, was a huge help. He has a truck and works as a project manager in the construction industry, so he took charge of picking up the post and the concrete mix.

    It didn’t take us very long to do the job.

    Peter insisted the hole for the post be at least 4-feet deep for safety reasons.

    Row of honeysuckle pillars at Powis Castle

    I mixed the quick set concrete mix and together we poured it into the hole.

    After the mix was set (about 45 minutes), I topped the hole off with soil and planted the honeysuckle, which I picked up from Clearview Horticultural Product’s excellent shop at the entrance to the nursery at 264th street.

    Roots of old buddleia where new hops pillar stands.

    While there, I also picked up a golden hops vine (Humulus lupus Aureus) for another pillar project in a another corner of the garden where an old buddleia died over winter.

    First, I had to remove the remnants of the buddleia. This turned out to be a lot easier than I expected as the wood was mostly rotten and it broke away easily and I was able to lift the root system without a lot of hard work.

    New golden hops pillar.

    For this project, I used only a 4-by-4 post and I did the installation myself following Peter’s golden rules.

    I used his simple method of anchoring the post using supports screwed to the upright to ensure it was perfectly erect in all the right directions.

    Concrete mix before.

    The concrete mix was easy to mix, just adding a little water at a time from a watering can until the mix reached the right consistency.

    Concrete mix after.

    These simple pillars allow me to add a strong vertical accent to the garden that I hope will have impact and colour. I don’t think I will have to wait too long to see the look I am after.

    Other ideas, such as planting a tree or shrub, even erect, narrow, columnar plants, would not have been as effective, I felt.

    Getting post positioned correctly in all directions.

    The only difference between the pillars I saw at Powis and mine is that there were more of them at Powis.

    And the repetition did add a little extra charm and impact. But I’m confident my pillars will also look good in time.

    With remnants of an old buddleia.



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