Gingerbread porch + lattice privacy panel?

jlc102482January 24, 2011

I would like to put a permanent lattice panel up on my porch to help obscure a view and to provide privacy. I am trying to figure out what type of lattice design would complement the gingerbread on the porch, but am having a lot of trouble imagining what type of lattice design might work.

This is what the gingerbread looks like. The panel will go on the side where the porch swing is (swing will be moved), and the panel will need to go from ceiling to floor.

The gingerbread design has a lot of curves, so I think the traditional crisscross "X" lattice design would look totally weird. (Am I wrong?) To further complicate things, the design can't have large openings in it or else the goal of view obstruction & privacy will be lost. I was thinking something roughly along these lines might work:

but the large spaces in between would not work.

I have Googled everything I can think of, have looked through clip art books, searched my own "old home"/ Victorian books, driven through neighborhoods of old houses, etc. and have not been able to find any designs or ideas that might work.

Does anyone have any ideas for references or examples to look at? I don't know where to start here!

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I'll go through my plan books and see what I can find...but off the top of my head:
I think your choice is really nice, but wouldn't it overwhelm your gingerbread? The trellis should be mounted on the interior side of the columns, so that the trim will stand out; my first impression is this: your columns are pointing the way to the design. X-lattice is entirely wrong. I'm picturing something like rectangles with the same proportions as the openings in your columns--taller than they are wide.
Also, whatever you choose, why no large openings? Lattice in your situation would look really nice covered with a flowering vine such as morning glories or wisteria or trumpet vine.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 12:39PM
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Thanks for the ideas, columbus! I think you're right, an intricate design might be too much. I guess I'm having trouble figuring out a happy medium between too plainn (and thus not matching the gingerbread) and too intricate.

I really like the idea of a design with large openings, but I think that would defeat the purpose of the panel (privacy and blocking a view). The view we're trying to block/gain privacy from is in close proximity to the porch, so unfortunately the openings would have to be relatively small if it's to serve its purpose.

I would like to try training some type of vine to grow up the trellis, but I'm not sure how well it would work. There's a large bush right where the vine would have to be planted, and I'm not sure if it would get enough sun. Even so, I think I might try, anyway - I've always wanted a wisteria!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 1:50PM
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From the picture, what about keeping the openings the same size as the oblong ones on your columns? Something else just occurred--I'd try having the top end just at the low end of your gingerbread, and the bottom line up with the base blocks of your columns--you'd get air circulation that way, but not be able to see the bad views. I know what you mean, by the way--my porch's south end is about seven feet from my neighbor's, and the north end looks out onto an intersection and the other neighbor about forty feet away! It sucks living in town!
The nice things about vines is this: they grow UP--the sun will draw them to it--and you could prune the bush a bit. Another vine option is clematis, which may do great with the bush to keep it's roots cool--I've tried four times to grow one without success.
A note about wisteria--try to get one which has already bloomed, otherwise it will take YEARS to do so, though it will put out foliage like crazy. Also, wisteria can be very strong, and could tear apart a light trellis. Mine did that within a few years, and after eight, it still hadn't bloomed, so I took it out.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 6:58PM
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I live in area with alot of old houses. One of the things I've noticed on many of the older homes looking to create privacy is that they use wire and vining plants to create what they need without taking anything away from their gingerbread.
Clematis, moon flower, morning glories and a kind of elephant ear vine all do well for this purpose. I'd stay away from Wisteria. It's not a good choice on a structure with delicate gingerbread that needs painting on a regular basis to maintain it.
Clematis is a very good choice but it needs to be babied and water almost daily.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 10:08PM
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That's a really good idea, columbus - I was so busy trying to create a new design that it didn't occur to me to just use a design already in the gingerbread. Duh!

Carol, you bring up a good point about wisteria being really strong - I had forgotten about that. I think I will try clematis or if that doesn't work, something really easy like morning glories. The wire is a great idea, too - I hadn't thought of that.

Thanks so much for the help!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 8:35AM
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What gardening zone do you live in?

That would determine what plants thrive in your situation.
One of my very favorites is star jasmine, sometimes called Confederate jasmine. It is used all over the place in Italy, in particular in Tuscany. In zone 8B, my zone, it is mostly evergreen. It has white star-shaped blooms in May/June. Dark green leaves. It will take about two-three years max to cover the end of your porch. If you have a way to have it stand off your woodwork, you will not have to worry about cutting it back.

Currently, I have 40 of the plants located to cover my 7' tall chainlink fence, as a living privacy screen across our back property line. I saw it in Italy trimmed as a hedge covering wire fencing, it looked fantastic. Think about it if you go the "green" route.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 9:38PM
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If you want really thick vine coverage, take a look at dutchman's pipe. It's hardy to zone 5, too. I read one comment about it that said it may have an offensive odor, but I've certainly never noticed it myself.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 4:53PM
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I think a purple and a white clematis would look beautiful climbing together, with your pretty blue house :)

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 8:40PM
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How about an American flag, hung vertically?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 11:16PM
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I don't like the idea of using a flag--any flag--that way. A flag needs to be taken in during bad weather and at sunset if I recall. On an old house, I'd try to fly a flag which has the number of stars used when the house was built--still a legal flag, and no problems flying it. Mine has 45 stars.
I support our troops, but won't fly it generally while the current president is sitting.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 5:44PM
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I second the idea of a vine. Morning glories are incredibly hardy but if you live in a zone with a real winter, they look terrible half the year. The link below is to a thread on evergreen climbing vines, so maybe you'll find some tips there.

This is OT, but I am really, really shocked and dismayed to hear anyone say that they would stop flying the American flag just because the guy they didn't want was elected. That's democracy. That's what we STAND for. You can't always win in a democracy.

Here is a link that might be useful: GardenWeb climbing vines thread

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 6:47PM
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Ideagirl, you are right, it is off-topic, and in a democracy, at least so far, I still have the right to disagree with the president's policies. As I said, I support our troops, but by and large, I have yet to see politician who really supports any interest except his own. Our 'democracy' is a far cry from what the founding fathers intended--it has been taken over by special interest groups and distorted to the point of being more about prohibiting public rights than protecting them.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 6:11AM
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