Grapevine Garlands

Grapevine garlands are usually a combination of vertical and horizontal elements~ freer in form than the the strict cordon training forms required with traditional trellising. Typically, the shoots are not trellised or tucked behind climbing supports, but fall freely. In the case of timber framework ('half-timbered' houses typical in certain regions of Germany) where the wall space that can accommodate a support is limited, garlands are often the only possible way to train a vine; attaching them to the wood is simple. Otherwise, garlands tend to be more suitable for decorative purposes; but with good care and maintenance, they can also produce high yields.


Grapevine trellis in Berwangen / Baden-Württemberg, ca. 1900


In earlier times, grapevine garlands were grown and stretched over whole courtyards or farmyards as per cable system 0040. In garden art they were known as "festoons."

Spatial Requirements

A wall surface of 60 - 120 cm wide is needed for a garland. Garlands are the perfect solution should you wish to green only a narrow area, or if only very narrow areas are available.

Trellising / Support

A single cable running parallel to the trunk is all that is needed to support a grapevine garland. You can find more examples on our page dedicated to green roofs. The distance from the wall is irrelevant: the support only serves to fasten the horizontal vine structure to the wall. However, the trunk-stem framework must not be allowed to wrap around the support cable, but should be guided (and tied) parallel to it.

Training and Pruning

Creating garlands is very simple: in the 1st year, the main shoot grows like that of a vertical or horizontal cordon, though pruning will be less strict. The trunk will lengthen each year, carrying the spurs from which the fruiting canes will grow. The distance between these spurs depends on whether the garland shall be fruit-bearing or not. The canes will be spur pruned; summer pruning is also recommended. Because the fruiting canes tend to bend downwards from the horizontal cordons along the wall, which can cause them to twist axially, the horizontal stems may need to be slightly bent, giving the garland an undulating form that will allow it to rest on the wall (the curvatures support themselves against the wall).


Unfortunately, canes in garlands often break under their own weight and in windy situations. Varieties that grow particularly straight will not make a good garland. Due to the less strict training and pruning, some canes will not grow at all, and the foliage can become thin or bare in places, especially in the lower parts of vertically or diagonally trained garlands.