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Quick Tips for Choosing Arbor Designs

Wood arbor provides a nice entryway as part of the fence and has a gate.

There is a few different places you can purchase garden arbors. You can get them at garden stores, renovation stores like Home Depot and shops that specialize in cedar wood products. You an also have them custom built for you by construction companies or build them your self using plans. The last option is to purchase arbors online.

Each option has there pros and cons and you will need to decide what is right for you. Or maybe the decision will be made for you. Sometimes the perfect arbor for your backyard or garden is only available at one of the sources I mentioned above.

No matter which way you choose, I recommend that you look around and get different ideas and see what style and material you like. Go to garden centers. Go for a walk around your neighborhood and check out what your neighbors have installed. Don't be shy to ask them about their arbor if you like it. The will most likely feel proud that you like it. And don't forget to search around the Internet.

If you’re planning to design and build a beautiful arbor in your garden, you’ll find a great selection of arbor designs on the internet and this site to get you started. Which arbor design you choose will depend on a range of factors, so it’s worth taking a little time to consider your options.

It is always a good idea to look around and see what other kinds of arbors people are building. This provides you with an understanding of what style you find interesting and what material you are attracted too. You should also understand the purpose of your arbor. It can be as simple as adding definition to your garden or it might also have a functional purpose. These days a garden arbor can also provide a nice place to seat, a swing and gate.

Three things to consider when designing and building a garden arbor

Deciding which plants to grow on your arbor:

Many design features will depend on the type of plants you plan to grow. Keep in mind the eventual size and weight of the mature plant when making design decisions.

Roses, climbing hydrangea, jasmine and sweet pea are all perfect for growing on a garden arbor.

Heavy, woody plants like roses will require a strong wooden arbor with a sturdy foundation.

The size of the plants will determine how you design the trellis. Small, delicate vines will need small trellis beams to grasp onto, while larger, bushier plants will need wider spaces to grow into.

Choosing materials:

The materials you choose for your arbor will determine how it will look, how much it will cost, and how much maintenance will be required in the long term.

Natural mahogany or cedar will look absolutely magnificent, but a composite timber material or PVC vinyl will be less expensive and require less maintenance.

Pressure treated lumbers are now largely unavailable in North America and in many other parts of the world due to health concerns.

Arbors can also be made from delicate steel and copper, for a romantic, old-world look.

Designing the foundation:

If you plan to build a large arbor, you will need to construct an adequate foundation to keep it stable.

For example, an eight foot span arbor will require foundation holes at least three feet deep, and the arbor posts will need to be set in concrete.

If you live in a windy area, a secure foundation is a particularly important feature of your arbor design. For more information on designing your own garden arbor please read this article on designing your own garden trellis or arbor.

For more information on different arbor designs, please read these articles:

Choosing your arbor plans

Guide to the different materials available for arbors


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