4 Garden Arbor Design Tips

Lead Image

A garden arbor can add architectural beauty and provide another exciting focal point to your garden or garden path. With these tips, you will be on your way to creating another beautiful garden element. Garden arbor kits are readily available at most home improvements stores or if you are handy with power tools, you can opt to build your own for a completely custom look.

1. Location

Deciding on the location of your garden arbor is the first step in the design. You can make the arbor the main element of your garden with flower beds and plantings to complement it or as an entrance to your garden with a matching gate.

You can also construct your garden arbor as an attachment to your house for a simple patio or deck improvement.

2. Materials

A garden arbor can be constructed of many different materials. The choice of materials will make a huge difference in the appearance and durability of your arbor.

Wood: Red cedar is the most popular choice for building a garden arbor but redwood and mahogany are also popular choices. Wood arbors create a more elegant look and are very durable when properly maintained.

Metal: Arbors created from stainless steel, aluminum, or copper can provide a very non-intrusive look to your garden; allowing the flowering blooms and vines to be the star of your garden. Copper will turn a beautiful green patina over time.

PVC or Vinyl: Kits created from PVC, or vinyl are very easy to construct since there are no cuts to be made. They are quite durable and require less maintenance than their wooden counterparts. They are also very lightweight and therefore easily moved from one location to another should you decide to change the look of your garden from season to season. These materials can also be manufactured to give the appearance of real wood.

3. Finishes

Whichever material you choose, the finish is equally important. All of your wooden pieces will be susceptible to damage from the elements as well as insect infestation if not properly sealed. You can apply a water-repellant sealant for a more natural look or use a primer and paint. Painting your garden arbor white will create a classic, romantic look for a formal garden while brighter colors will provide a bolder, more whimsical look.

If you went with a PVC/vinyl material, the manufacturer can provide the materials in various colors.

The metal and PVC style material require very little maintenance over the life of the garden arbor and therefore should be chosen if a carefree arbor is your goal.

4. Flowers

Flowers add the finishing touch to your garden arbor. A trained vine growing up the sides and across the top of your arbor bursting with beautifully blooming roses creates a timeless look. You can also hang potted plants or ferns from the upper supports if your arbor is sturdy enough.

Whatever design elements you choose, either from a kit or custom made, your garden arbor will provide many years of beauty to your home and backyard garden.