Fifthroom Living


The Do’s and Don’ts of Arbors

Arbors go way back in history, having originally been used to provide shaded passageways in Medieval and Renaissance gardens. Today, an arbor provides an immediate architectural statement in a garden (often used as a gateway to a garden) while also providing a great place to support colorful and fragrant flowering vines. Here are a few things you might want to think about before incorporating an arbor into your landscape:


1. Determine your arbor’s style and materials based on your home’s architectural style. Looking for something in wood? Then, you have lots of options including, red cedar, white cedar or treated pine. Or, are you interested in a vinyl arbor which is beautiful yet super low maintenance? You’ll be living with this arbor for quite a while so look at all your options and pick one which works with your home, your garden and suits your style!

Red Cedar Rosemont Adjustable Arbor

2. Select the plants you will want to use before choosing your arbor. Some climbers grow rapidly while others are slow-growers. Wisteria, for example, has a heavy woody stem which needs more support than some other climbers so it will need an especially sturdy arbor to grow upon.

Treated Pine Roman Arch Arbor

3. Decide what function your arbor will serve before placing it. Will the arbor serve as the gateway to your garden? Or do you want your arbor to break up a large space into two smaller areas? Do you want your arbor to provide shade and to have a seating area? There are many options to choose from so make sure you’re clear on what you need before making a final selection.

Treated Pine Greenfield Arbor and Swing Set


1. Erect an arbor which is too short. Landscape design professionals recommend a minimum arbor height of 6-8 feet and a minimum width of 3 feet, not unlike the height of a standard interior door.

2. Neglect Maintenance. Once you have climbing plants you need to be aware of how they are growing and what they are dropping to the ground. Make sure you train or weave new growth on climbers to maintain the look you desire. Also, if leaves or fruit fall to the ground, make sure to clear the path to maintain a safe walkway.

An arbor is a beautiful addition to any home and the design possibilities available at are endless. Check them out here!


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