Garden Folly

October 8, 2012
Jay and his brother Dave decided to build a folly to support a wisteria vine in the garden. It’s going to be a dome-shaped structure about 8 feet in diameter and 8 feet high, made of rebar with decorative scrollwork. Jay bent the S-shaped scrolls from 3/8-inch rebar with a plywood jig. Using 52-inch lengths of rebar, he first bent one end into a spiral around the jig.

Once the first spiral was bent, he reversed the piece and bent the other end in the opposite direction. To make the folly took a total of 28 of these.

The folly will consist of two pairs of arches crossing at a right angle. Each arch is made from a 20-foot length of 1/2-inch rebar, with an 8-foot length stretching across the bottom. Once Jay had bent a few scrolls, Dave started welding the arches together while Jay continued to bend.

Each of the two sections has 10 scrolls and about 50 double-sided welds. By late afternoon both sections were fully assembled, but not joined together yet.

October 9, 2012
After aligning the two halves and clamping them together at the top, Jay welded the intersections to anchor them together. Then we put cross braces along the bottom to join the ends of the arches into a square base. He welded 2 more scrolls into each space between the arches to fill in the dome shape.

We used the tractor to move it from the driveway into the main garden just south of the house. It may take the wisteria vine a year or two to cover it, as this is an American wisteria that won’t get as large as the Asian species.

Here’s a close-up of the scrollwork joining the arches, and a view looking up from the bottom.