diamond lattice trellis fence topper atop a wooden fence panel

Attaching trellis to a fence or wall is an impressive way to give your garden a major style upgrade and a bit of privacy too. For anyone keen on adding trellis to the top of a fence, this is the perfect way to quickly enhance the appeal of your outdoor living area.

No matter whether you are a DIYer or a newcomer, the process of attaching trellis to new or existing fencing is a satisfying project that can transform the look of your garden. Plus, it is a great way to flex your creative muscles, giving climbing plants a place to thrive and adding an extra layer of charm to your garden's aesthetics. Read on as we discuss how to attach trellis to a fence.


Editor’s Note [22.03.2024]:

Our article about how to attach garden trellis to a fence panel or wall was originally published on June 4, 2019. A variety of amendments were made throughout the article. Entirely new sections were added for items needed, choosing the right trellis, how to attach trellis to a fence, related articles, and final thoughts.

The Benefits of Attaching Trellis to a Fence or Wall

In addition to having a unique beauty all by itself, trellis, sometimes referred to as lattice, is a great training aid for climbers.


This enables you can to decorate a boring brick wall or design a unique garden fence.


Trellis is a wonderful way to enhance your garden and, if you erect it correctly, you can enjoy its benefits for many years to come.

trellis fence paneltrellis fence panel
Forest 6' x 4' Heavy Duty Square Garden Trellis Fence Panel (1.83m x 1.22m) - Click on Image to View

Preparing for Installation

Getting ready to install a trellis is like prepping for a fun DIY project, you must gather all the right items first.

Items Needed

Before installing the trellis, let us make sure we have all the items you will need:

  • Drill - essential for making those pre-fixing holes, making your job a whole lot easier
  • Galvanised brackets - tough and weather-resistant, they are like the superheroes of trellis installation
  • Garden gloves - keep your hands safe and clean
  • Hammer - for the few bits that might need a good whack!
  • Ladder - if you are going high, you will need one of these to reach the top spots
  • Measuring tape - for getting all your measurements spot on, because guessing just will not cut it
  • Pencil - for marking out where everything will go, it is your roadmap to success
  • Safety goggles - because eye protection is key, practice safety first!
  • Saw – this is handy for trimming the trellis or battens to the perfect size
  • Screwdriver - for when you need to get directly with screws
  • Screws - these are going to be the main fitting in holding your trellis up, wood screws or galvanised screws (the preference) can be used
  • Spirit level - for that ultra-precise, perfectly straight installation
  • Wood preservative - to give your wooden trellis a longer, healthier life
fan-shaped trellis attached to brick wallfan-shaped trellis attached to brick wall
Forest 2' x 6' Heavy Duty High Decorative Fan Wall Trellis (0.66m x 1.83m) - Click Image to View

Choosing the Right Trellis for Your Space

When picking the right trellis, think of it like choosing the perfect pair of sunglasses, it needs to fit exactly right. Consider the size of your existing fence or wall; you want a trellis that complements the space, not overwhelms it. Think about what you will be growing too, as different plants need different kinds of support.


Style-wise, are you going for a modern feel or more of a rustic look? Remember, a trellis is not just a practical addition; it is a statement piece in your garden’s overall look.

Step by Step Guide: How to Attach Trellis to a Fence

Sprucing up your garden fence with trellis adds a WOW factor to your garden. It is not only a super stylish addition but also a fabulous way to give your climbing plants their own dedicated area. Read on and learn the steps of how to attach trellis to a fence.


1)    Measure Your Fence and Trellis

First things first, grab your tape measure and get the dimensions of both the existing fence and the trellis. These measurements need to be precise; you have got to make sure the trellis will sit right on your fence.

2)    Choose the Right Fixings

Next up, you need the right fixings to fix trellis. Opt for galvanised screws or brackets; they are sturdy, tough, and weather-resistant.

3)    Mark the Attachment Points

With a pencil in hand, mark where you will be fixing the trellis to the fence. This step is needed as a precursor to pre-drilling the holes.

4)    Pre-drill Holes

Next, take your drill and carefully make precision pilot holes that you marked out in the previous step. Accurate pre-drill will deliver a perfect fit that prevents the wood from splitting.

5)    Fix the Trellis to the Fence

You can now align the trellis to your precision pre-drilled holes. Now fix the trellis onto fence using screws and brackets you will have bought.

6)    Double-check Stability

When you have finished fixing, you need to check that the trellis is securely attached. All you need to do is give the trellis a “gentle tug” to check its stability, this might seem unimportant, but the trellis will receive plenty of tests in the future, especially on windy days.

Creating Height by Adding Trellis to Top of a Fence with Trellis Fence Toppers

Trellis toppers add height, but also importantly they add visual appeal. Perhaps overlooked, but potentially important they also add privacy in your garden. A garden trellis also lets some natural light in through its gaps.

Attach a trellis top either directly to a fence post or onto a fence panel, depending on the trellis design and your own requirements. When attaching trellis to a fence post, it is typically for the purpose of extending the height of the fence or for adding structural support to the trellis for climbing plants.

close up photo of some trellisclose up photo of some trellis

How to Attach a Trellis Fence Topper

Adding a trellis topper to a fence panel is a relatively simple job as long as you remember the following key points:


Check Your Fence Panels and Tools Before You Start

Quality fence panels are of paramount importance to the success of this project.

If a fence panel warps and bends when you pick it up, chances are it is too flimsy for the job, so a sturdy panel is essential.

Galvanised screws or nails are also vital in order to prevent rust from ruining the panels' appearance.

It's Easier with Two

You can complete the job by yourself but it's much easier when you get a friend to hold everything steady whilst you fix the battens and then the trellis.

Your friend can also reach for the elusive spirit level as it falls just out of reach at that all-important moment.

How to Attach Trellis Panels to A Wall

Adding a trellis panel to your wall is like giving your garden a whole new dimension of green. It is a fabulous way to jazz up a plain wall and give your climbers their own stylish stage to shine on.

Use Wooden Battens

Attach battens to the wall using wall plugs and screws. This creates a strong framework on which to fix the wall trellis. It is the backbone for your trellis, ensuring it is sturdy enough to protect from strong winds and support whatever greenery you are planning to highlight.

The most important benefit of the battens is that they hold the trellis away from the wall. This gap can be utilised by your climbers. Think of it as giving your plants room to breathe and grow without being all squashed up against the wall.

Without the gap, there won't be sufficient space and the plants will simply flop forward. It is like trying to dance in a crowded room, your plants need elbow room to really flourish.

The gap also allows air to circulate, preventing fungal infections. Airflow is super important for keeping your plants healthy, kind of like ensuring good ventilation in your room.


a trellis attached to a wall with a climbing plant on ita trellis attached to a wall with a climbing plant on it

Choose the Right Battens

Ideally, the size of each batten shouldn't be wider than the wood used in fixing trellis, this means that the battens will be hidden from view. It is all about keeping it looking neat and tidy, so your trellis takes the spotlight, not the battens.

Fix a batten at each end of the trellis and, if the trellis is large, place one across the middle, horizontally. This is the secret to keeping your trellis perfectly balanced, after all, nobody wants a wonky trellis!

Choose wooden battens that are pressure-treated. They come with a long guarantee against rot and will save you the tricky job of having to replace them after a few years.

Consider the Size of the Fully-Grown Climber

A newly planted climber is usually small and therefore lightweight. It is unlikely to do any damage.

However, a fully-grown rose or wisteria can pull away a poorly fixed trellis from a wall or destroy poor-quality wood.

Therefore, always choose a high-quality trellis from a trusted supplier, such as Buy Fencing Direct.

Trellis Fence Panels

Remember, we don't just stock trellis toppers and wall trellis.

We love all garden trellis and stock a superb full range of trellis fencing.

Related Articles

Gain further insights into adding trellis to the top of the fence and related matters by reading the following articles on the Buy Fencing Direct blog:

  1. Climbing plants for your trellis
  2. Garden trellis projects – what to grow
  3. How high can my fence be? – trellis toppers extend the height of a fence. Read here for maximum height legislation and planning permission rules
  4. How to make a trellis for your garden fence
  5. The best trellis ideas

Final Thoughts

Attaching trellis to a fence or wall is more than just a garden makeover; it is about creating a vibrant, green oasis right in your garden. Trellis panels, whether topping your fence or adorning a wall, provide the perfect stage for your climbers, turn a plain space into a lush garden spectacle. It is crucial to select a high-quality trellis and use the right tools, ensuring your greenery gets the sturdy support it deserves.

Once installed, these trellis additions not only enhance your garden's privacy but also add a touch of elegance, making your outdoor space the envy of the neighbourhood. So, go ahead, pick that perfect trellis and transform your garden into a delightful haven of greenery and style.

Contacting Buy Fencing Direct

So now you know how to attach trellis to fence panels. For advice about the best trellises and fence panels to buy why not contact our team?


Contact Buy Fencing Direct in the following ways to discuss adding trellis to a fence:

  • Phone - 0333 003 0515
  • E-mails – send these using our contact page form
  • Text chat - use our live chat app to send us text chats in real-time