Add Height Elements In Your Yard With A Wooden Garden Obelisk

When prepping your own garden for the summer and turning your outdoors into a fun or relaxing place, incorporating the right accessories will change everything to the final impression and ambiance.

Garden obelisks are tall structures and an extraordinary decorative feature of the garden area.

And wooden garden obelisk can be an exciting addition to any deck, patio, or outdoor green space. It is built and made to improve a variety of garden settings, beautifully supporting your flowering vines.

What Is A Garden Obelisk?

An obelisk or trellis is a rectangular stone pillar with a pointed top forming a pyramid. Obelisks were stunning monuments, usually erected to commemorate an event, and honouring the solar gods of Egypt and depicting the Pharaoh’s power. Their moving shadows formed a sundial, allowing people to tell the time.

Rather than being constructed from concrete, tapered stone, garden obelisks adopt a tubular design to give tall, hollow, decorative structures for garden spaces. Obelisks often act as garden art elements in the garden. Even a teepee garden trellis is an obelisk type, but it leans more on the practical side than aesthetic.

Garden obelisks can be built from wood, metal or other material. A wooden garden obelisk is the most widely-used type. They have a classic structure of a narrow pyramid and can be made with vine branches or wicker. The height can differ depending on the intent of the obelisk.

Why Should You Have Garden Obelisks?

There are countless reasons why placing a garden obelisk is a great idea. Aside from its ability to bring luxuriousness, classiness and brilliance to any garden space, it can be used as an exceptional plant support that impresses and provides superb displays of seasonal foliage throughout the year.

Obelisks are an excellent foothold for a lot of climbing plants, like sweat peas, hydrangea roses, and many kinds of vegetables and fruits. That means you can be adept at growing plants with a bit of vertical gardening this summer.

Obelisks can be used to detail the layout of trendy and classic gardens. Many individuals and skilled landscapers work with obelisks to have separate sections instead of fences. They can add height to borders, appeal to fence boards, and bright, lively colour to patio and embellished areas when used with planters.

How To Build A DIY Wooden Obelisk

While this wooden garden obelisk requires dozens of pieces, it’s actually a simple project. But there are angled cuts that are pretty complicated for those with no fundamental carpentry skills. When unsure how to try out a DIY garden obelisk project, first evaluate your woodworking skills. You can also ask for some assistance.

Use this step-by-step tutorial to create a wooden obelisk in your garden.

Wood Materials

  • (4) 2 x 2 x 96-inch
  • (4) 2 x 2 x 22-inch
  • (4) 2 x 2 x 18.5-inch
  • (4) 2 x 2 x 14.5-inch
  • (4) 2 x 2 x 11-inch
If you think the obelisk will be heavily covered by plants, buy an inexpensive wood type like pressure-treated lumber or whitewood furring strips to save money.

Tools Needed

  • Miter saw, or Wood saw
  • Electric drill with 3/8″ drill bit for predrilling holes
  • Electric screwdriver (or drill with drive bit)
  • Pencil and ruler
  • Measuring tape
  • Deck screws
  • Carpenter’s wood glue & clamps
  • Wood stain or paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Safety gear: safety goggles, ear protectors, carpentry gloves, work apron

Step 1. Cut Wood

Measure and cut your wood using a miter saw.

Step 2. Pre Dill Holes

Mark and predrill where you insert screws, approximately a half inch from the ends. Predrilling holes with a drill bit smaller than the screws is necessary to prevent the wood from splitting when inserting the screws.

Note that you must position two screws at each corner where two horizontal rails connect to the same side rail. Never drill up to the middle of each horizontal post but angle it downward, approximately 45 degrees, in a safe direction. The angles don’t need to be perfect, but they should be on par with one another.

Step 3. Build The Frame

Place 2 of your 2x2x96 wood on the ground and touch the tops to make a triangle shape. Measure up 12 inches from the base of your frame and mark this spot on both posts using a pencil. This is for the placement of the bottom rung or crosspiece. Adjust the legs correspondingly, so the timber runs to the end on both sides.

Next, bind the top portion with a 3-inch wood to help secure this part.

Step 4. Evenly Space Rungs

From the 12-inch spot, measure 15 inches three times. This means that the first board is 12″ from the base, and the remaining are spaced 15″ apart.

After you have your four measurements, place a 22-inch cut slat across the two 96-inch legs as the first rung; next is the 18.5-inch piece, then the 14.5-inch, and then your top will be the 11-inch piece.

Keep in mind that as you screw in these side slats, having someone hold the upper part of the pyramid together is necessary.

Now, the first side is done! It should consist of two posts that are 96-inch long and four (4) different horizontal rails.

Step 5. Repeat Steps 3 & 4

Repeat the steps to make a second ladder. The second frame is much faster to build because you can use the first as a guide.

Step 6. Assemble The Rest Of The Obelisk

Since you now have the two sides of the frame, you can add the side slats.

Position the ladders on their sides. Temporarily bind the two frames using a block of wood. Affix the remaining rungs, matching the setup of the rungs, so they connect the two ladders and overlap the ends of the ladder rungs.

Flip the obelisk over and repeat on the other side, attaching the final set of rungs.

After all four frames are attached, remove the anchor.

You now have your own wooden garden obelisk.

Step 7. Add Decorative Details

There are several ways you could add a crowning touch here. Ideas include:

  • Leave the top opening flat because it is good enough for a hanging basket to grasp. Think of having your strawberries crawling down over this tower.
  • Attach a piece of wood at the top and add a ball finial for extra polish.
  • Complete your obelisk with a birdhouse attached to the top.
  • Use a solar-powered post cap light so that the obelisk will be lighted after dark. You can even exploit solar lights on the posts for an added style.
  • Add a dazzling gazing ball on top.
  • You can also create a giant orb out of wall-mounted metal hayrack planters.

Step 8. Sanding

It is time for a quick sanding. If there are uneven edges, sanding them is vital before you stain them. Run through the rough areas on the wood.

Whether you stain, paint, or leave plain, apply the right wood sealant to weatherproof your obelisk.

Step 9. Paint Or Stain

Stain or paint the trellis as desired.

For a rustic look, leave them a realistic wood colour. Cedar is a suitable option for this kind of structure.

Or you may paint yours to bring more colour to the garden. And if you plan on painting them, it’s worth the time to use a quality latex wood primer before applying the paint.

Step 10. Add Plants

Now bring the finished obelisk over to the garden. And plant vining annuals, perennials, or shrubs at the structure’s base.

Best Plants For Your Wooden Obelisks

Obelisks allow you to grow climbing plants throughout your garden instead of restricting them to your fences and walls. The best plants to flourish in a wooden garden obelisk are trailing plants that can take advantage of the height of an obelisk.

Many assume a climbing plant will make the framework unsteady, though this isn’t the case. The plants’ roots actualy make it stable, so if you need something towering and firm, go for an evergreen shrub, such as creeping juniper.

Make the most of your obelisk by planting climbing vegetables like pole beans, cucumbers, Malabar spinach, and peas. Obelisk can keep your foliage off the ground and make your harvest easier as you’ll spot the fruits quicker.

Flowering plants look lovely, with their vines crawling up a wooden garden obelisk. They can be annual or perennial vines. Take your garden to stunning heights with these flowering vines.

Sweat Peas

A plant close up featuring a wooden garden obelisk.
The sweet pea is a gorgeous flower that is easy to grow and will bloom between spring and summer. The vine is the most popular among gardeners as it produces flowers in shades like white, blue, red, pink, and lavender. However, be mindful that you will likely have to bind your sweet peas first. Use twine or a twist tie to tie them to the structure.

Star Jasmine

Star jasmine is one of the fastest-growing climbers and climbs over support structures with twining vines. This perennial vine has creamy white flowers with a sweet scent. Trellises and obelisks offer a more sustainable growing solution for jasmine when you don’t have a large support setup to train the vines. Trim your vine more than once a year because the plant proliferates.


Clematis are named the ‘Queen of Climbers’ and is a divine flowering vine for your garden. The flowers come in every colour, from the lightest pink to deep purple. A clematis vine grows up by wrapping its leaf stems around something. The more grabbing options you provide, the better; consider adding some plant clips or twine or surrounding your obelisk with a netting grid.

Climbing Hydrangea

Climbing hydrangeas are stunning plants to grow within your house. They have deep green leaves with large, white flowers. These super-slow-growing plants often require sturdy support like trees, obelisk or trellis to help them hit the trail. They use aerial roots to stick onto things. They can grow up to 6 metres tall and look captivating as they ascend the structure.


A wooden garden obelisk adorned with a bush of purple flowers and green leaves.
Bougainvillea’s your plant if you want a tough, tropical one with a splash of bright colour that can resist heat and drought. It needs minimal maintenance, and it’s one of the most-liked plants all over the world. This makes it a perfect option for anyone who needs to incorporate nature into their yard. However, be cautious when working with them because these vines contain thorns.

How To Garden With Obelisks

Vining crops planted around the bases of many obelisks is a great idea to optimize space and add vertical appeal. Whether you build a DIY or purchase one, obelisks are perfect for growing flowering vines and vegetables.

Position the obelisks in the garden on a level ground before the planting period. Space them 16 inches apart.

With a trowel, dig a trench about 1 inch deep around the leg of each obelisk. Ameliorate your soil by adding some organic matter, like homemade compost, worm castings, pine straw, or rotted seaweed, into the soil before you farm.

Sow the seedlings 4 inches apart but leave the edges of the obelisk base clear for companion planting.

During dry weather, water the furrow before planting, so it’s nice and wet. This will promote the roots of your trailing plants to grow down.

If you purchase a bigger plant, carefully untie and remove it from the pot and set it in the hole, leaning it toward the structure. Hit some stakes into the hole horizontally toward the obelisk, and be careful not to damage the roots. Fill the hole with soil and organic matter.

Water new plants generously during dry spells, though one full watering pot weekly is much better than a little daily. You need the roots to dig downward, following the water.

Tips To Stabilize A Wooden Garden Obelisk

Building and securing a garden obelisk can be problematic for those who do not seek advice before setting a garden obelisk, leading to a poorly established garden obelisk. Here are some tips for stabilizing your garden obelisk.

Search For The Ideal Site

Among the typical mistakes that most home gardeners make is that they do not prepare a suitable location to position a garden obelisk. This overthrows your garden’s charm and impacts your plants’ life sooner or later. One has to determine a perfect site for securing a garden obelisk to incorporate the added touch of elegance to their garden. Place the obelisk on plain ground.

Dig Holes And Bury The Legs

You have to dig holes at least 12 inches deep. The soil will prevent the structure from falling over in a strong wind.

Once done digging, bury the legs of the obelisk up to the bottom rung. Then tightly press the soil around the legs. To stabilize it more securely, cement the obelisk in position.

Bind To A Garden Stake

Tighten the obelisk with some twine and garden stakes.

How To Maintain Your Wooden Garden Obelisk

Many worries that a wooden obelisk is not as durable as a metallic obelisk. Thus, if you have a wooden obelisk and worry about its untimely end, proper maintenance is necessary to ensure the maximum functioning period. The following guidelines are especially advised:

Apply an anti-bug coating and a water-resistant coating on your obelisk to help prolong the wood’s life and prevent it from decaying. Doing this will enable you to enjoy your wooden obelisk for a considerable time.

When setting the obelisk up, ensure it is flat terrain and use supports.

Never directly bury the legs in soil or dirt. Direct contact with the ground can start the wear early and shorten the structure’s lifespan. One of the vital things you need to work out is to put some plastic bags on your obelisks’ feet to keep from water and bugs inside the ground. Or place the tips of each obelisk leg on a small spot of gravel for adequate drainage.

Keep the site around the post or leg free from waste, weeds, and plant encroachment.

Rinse the obelisk with a gentle hose occasionally. Don’t use a high-pressure water hose with a powerful jet stream because it can break up the natural quality of the wood. You can use a soft cloth and mild soap to clean whatever that have settled on the structure, then rinse with warm water. Cleaning must be done at least yearly, though every couple of months would be better, based on your local conditions.

You also need to repaint it every year.
A leaf-covered pathway in a park with wooden garden obelisks.

Transform Your Yard Into A Lovely Garden

Are you considering transforming your own garden this summer? If you want a straightforward way to add appeal and class to your garden, wooden garden obelisks might be your solution.

Garden obelisks are visually stunning. We hope you gain some ideas from our guide in building the best garden obelisk for your yard.

Curb Wise