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Building A Tuteur for the Garden

By John D. McCann

Building A Tuteur

I have been wanting to build a “Teteur” for the garden for some time. A Tuteur is a French term for a three or four sided trellis or plant support.  A Tuteur is great for growing vines on in a flower garden and vegetables like peas or beans in a vegetable garden.

I have seen various designs in gardening magazines but wanted to design something myself. Many have some sort of fence post finial as the top but I wanted something a little different. I wanted to use a small 4″ gazing ball. I chose a red one because I was building the Tuteur for my landscaped area where my Bee Baum is located and it is red.  I ended up using a regular finial for a fence post, cut off the round portion, and carved out a rounded area to accommodate the red stainless steel gazing ball.

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The original purchased finial for a fence post.

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The ball cut of the finial. The bottom was carved like a bowl to accommodate the gazing ball.

For the legs, I used pressure treated 2 x2′s (actually size is 1-3/8″ x 1-3/8″) and for the cross members and decorative vertical pieces I used pressure treated 1×2′s (actual size is 1-3/8″ x 5/8″).

I also designed and hand cut a block for the top so the legs could be attached at 12 degrees, which for the 6.5 foot height, was the angle I needed so it would be approx. 36″ at the base.  The overall height with the finial and gazing ball would be approx. 7 feet.

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The block cut for the top to attach the legs to and keep them at 12 degrees.

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Legs attached to the top block. The top of the legs had to be trimmed at 12 degrees as well so the top would be level.

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A side view of the legs attached to top block.

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Another view of the legs attached to the top block.

It took awhile for the cutting, assembly, and two coats of white stain, but here it is finished.

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This is the finished Tuteur before staining began.

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First coat of white stain applied.

Once the second coat of white stain was dry, I completed the project by attaching the 4″ red gazing ball to the top using a clear silicone adhesive.

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A close-up of the custom finial using a 4″ stainless steel gazing ball.

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The completed Tuteur from the left side.

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The completed Tuteur from the right side.

This was a fun little project, and although I am using it in our flower garden, it would work just as well in our vegetable garden.  My wife has already requested a couple for that purpose.

It is always satisfying to build things yourself and this type of project is not difficult with just a few tools and imagination.

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