Long associated with old fashioned gardens,
arbors are a beautiful way to
frame an entrance
to an outdoor space or to provide
shade for a garden bench or swing.
can be used as part of a fence,
a gate, or serve as a covering
Climbing plants, such as roses
can be trained up and over the
top of an
arbor to provide even more charm.
come in a wide variety of styles
from simple, rustic branches
lashed or nailed
together to elaborate architectural
They can be custom built, but
kits are available from garden
improvement stores, and online
following should be considered
- Think about the size and style of arbor that
will best suit your site. It should neither
overwhelm your yard, nor should it look insignificant.
Arbors can be very formal or rustic, depending
on the architecture of your house. If you
are using an arbor as an entry way, make
sure it is wide enough to comfortably pass
through it. Make sure that lawn mowers and
wheelbarrows can be rolled through.
- Arbors need to be sturdy enough to support
the mature weight of any vines you plan to
grow on them. The thick trunks of wisteria,
for instance, are quite heavy and will cause
flimsy structures to collapse over time.
Make sure the arbor is wide and high enough
to be comfortable even though plants are
growing through it.
- Wood is the most traditional choice of construction
material. Because arbors will sit outside
all year, a good quality weather resistant
wood will last the longest. Mahogany and
teak can be left untreated to weather to
a beautiful silver gray. Cedar can also be
stained or coated with urethane. Arbors made
from pressure treated lumber are usually
- Arbors constructed from manmade composites
offer a long lasting alternative to wood.
They can be painted any color and are almost
maintenance free. Vinyl arbors are also available.
They are usually white or green and cannot
be painted but are virtually maintenance
free and , need only an occasionally hosing
off to remove dirt.