Building a Garden Obelisk

I’ve always liked garden obelisks.  I purchased a metal one a few years ago and loved it – in fact, this is the one I purchased.  It was perfect for my clematis near the front porch – a nice focal point to the entryway.

I’ve recently taken a bigger interest in gardening, and I wanted a larger obelisk for a hops vine.

What did I just say?

When I quit my controller position last year, I never thought the words growing “hops vine on an obelisk” would be uttered.

Who am I anymore?

Yeah.  I don’t know….. but….

diy projectI have a three-story house and the back of it is pretty bare.  I wasn’t gardening back there because we had two big dogs that constantly ran through the garden area and anything I would plant would get trampled.  Sadly, the big dogs are no longer with us – one developed a very large tumor and the other had cataracts and was going blind, and she was losing her mind.  But enough about that – I have a ton of scrap wood from all my projects, so why not try to build my own?  I needed something to take up that bare area.

I had an appointment to get to one morning but was trying to take my mind off of the appointment and wondered how quickly I could get this project done.  I brought out the scrap wood and decided not to cut any height off (I believe it was 10 feet tall).  As you can see, this area needs a focal point.  The wall is ugly.  I plan to eventually paint the wall but that will require patching that area you see there, and I’m not quite ready for that.  Other priorities first….


build garden obeliskI was floored how easy this project was.  I laid out two long pieces and then made a horizontal cross piece from one side to another and eyeballed the length, spacing them apart to make five horizontal pieces.  I cut those, and then cut the same sizes three more times.  I attached those horizontal pieces to two vertical pieces making two sides, and then attached those two to each other with the last two sets of five horizontal pieces.  Really, it was that easy.  I used exterior wood screws.  This took me about 20 minutes.

wooden garden obeliskFrom there, since it was cheap wood, I decided to paint in something that would hold up against the weather.  I used Behr Deckover.  Oh but wait, I do not recommend Behr Deckover as you can see here, but I have a lot left over from that horrible project, so I now use it up for the sake of using it up.  If it wasn’t for using this product, I would have probably made this out of a better type of wood and painted or stained it.

I added a finial to the top.  This Gothic finial can be found here.


hops leavesGrowing Hops


Why hops?  I don’t know.  I’m fascinated by growing vines.  I’ve grown trumpet vine, clematis, English ivy, wheeler honeysuckle, sweet pea, and grape vines…  Why not hops?

I told myself I would not buy anything that is not a perennial anymore.  Eventually my gardens will be nothing but perennials with very little upkeep, but I couldn’t help myself.  I read it was fast growing and I wanted to see the actual hops emerge.  We have no plans for these.  My son stunk the house up a few years ago when he was brewing beer for fun, but no one is doing that anymore so this was purely for decoration and fun.


growing your own hops Hops vine is incredibly easy to grow.   You can practically watch it grow and climb.  They are easy to find.  I do recommend getting the actual plant or root, not the seeds.   I also planted three rose bushes at the base that are supposedly climbers.  We will see how they do in the future.  They are supposed to be blue and red but they are hot pink and light pink – yeah that’s about right.  I’m guessing that has to do with acidity of the soil, but I will research that one of these days.  As of now, glad to see progress in the back of the house.  I have periwinkle, dragon’s blood sedum, and some sort of daisy growing very slowly here as well.  Progress on that later….

hops budsRemember that Behr Deckover I used?  The vine really sticks to it and makes for easy growth upward.  There are really tiny “pricklies” on that vine as well that you can feel – it is very sticky.

I was waiting for the buds to arrive and they finally did.

hops vine


I’m not sure how big the hops will get but it is amazing how quickly everything is growing.

This was definitely a “win” for the gardening this year.  I will definitely grow again next year.

growing hops


I haven’t seen any pests in particular attacking the vine, but I did find this little guy today. I haven’t been able to identify him yet, but have started the process.  I’ve never seen one of these in the 16 years I have lived here.

stink bug

Edited to add – this has been identified!  It is a nymph of a brown marmorated stink bug that is fresh out of it’s molt (or whatever it is called).