How To Build A Tuteur

Although a relatively simple structure, the vine tower, or tuteur, does require some skill in woodworking to build properly
A vine tower or tuteur can be any size and a variety of shapes, but generally it is pyramidal in form; therefore the tops and bottoms of the legs and the ends of the pieces which connect the legs must be cut at a consistent angle.

image of a vine tower in a garden
A Vine Tower/Tuteur
To start building your tuteur, it is easiest to lay out two legs on a workbench to the desired angle. Determine a perpendicular center line between the two legs and place each leg the same distance at the top from the center line and the same (but wider) distance at the bottom.

A line exactly perpendicular to the center line and laid across the legs will give the angle for cutting the bottoms and tops of the legs, as well as the angle for cutting the ends of the connecting braces and top brace.

In other words, lay the long legs out at the angle and spacing you want, lay the cross pieces across them and mark with a pencil both the cross pieces where they lay across the legs and the leg pieces where they are crossed by the cross braces and you will have your cut lines.

Once the legs (1) and the braces (2, 3) have been cut, they are assembled by screwing the legs to the connecting braces with the braces between the legs. The screws are countersunk into the wood, and the indent is filled with wood putty and sanded.

For the crown support (4), cut a square large enough to overhang the tops of the legs, once assembled. For the crown (5), cut another square into four equal wedge-shaped pieces.

These cuts will need to be at an angle, which will determine the pitch of the crown. For a crown with a forty-five degree pitch, set the blade of the circular saw at a forty-five degree angle and cut the wedges, then fit them together using wood glue. Wood cement can be used to fill any gaps and the entire structure can be painted.


illustration for constructing a vine tower, or tuteur
How to construct a tuteur

Garden Plans

Choose from a variety of garden plans created by professional landscape designers, all of which can be adapted to a range of properties.

Formal Garden #1


Two Room Garden #1


Garden Surprise #3


Two Room Garden #2


Victorian Garden



The following instructions are for placing stones in any natural pond:

1. Once the flexible or rigid liner or concrete pool is in place, the aesthetic work of
placing river stone begins. This will rarely look absolutely natural but it can look
really quite good if the right stone are used and some sensitivity employed in their

2. The stones in the pond should be stones which are water worn, smooth with rounded edges, referred to as ‘river rock’ or ‘river flats’ or ‘river rounds’. The stones outside do not need to be water worn but should not be too dissimilar from the river rocks.

3. Use larger stones against the vertical surfaces, smaller stone and river pebbles on the horizontal surface. Try not to stack them, but place them so the larger are on the bottom, naturally supporting smaller stone above. The combination of these varying sizes, along with the water and margin plants, will help give a natural, pleasing look.

4. Be sure to cover all unnatural elements, such as the cords, water lines, pump and filter with the stones. Be sure, however, that you have left enough hose and
electric line with the pump and filter and that they are placed so they can be lifted
from the pond for cleaning.

5. If you don’t want to see plastic or clay pots in your pond, you can build planters with the river stones, cementing them together in pleasing shapes. These will blend into the pond bottom and sides. If you build them at different elevations they will provide excellent, permanent planting places for all your aquatics.

6. Once the inside of the pond has been stoned you can make the outside of the pond look good with stone too, but try to avoid the necklace of stones around the perimeter of the pond. If at all possible, extend the stone work to surrounding areas and build in planting pockets.