Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ideas For Arbors In Gardens

A series of arbors becomes a flowering tunnel from the house to the garden.

An arbor provides support for climbing plants, a sheltered resting spot and a visual break in the garden. Arbors can be made of branches, cut lumber, shaped metal, cane and even plastic, although natural materials blend in most seamlessly with the landscape. A slender arch can be used to mark a transition between flowerbeds. A more substantial arbor can be the doorway to a garden adventure. Does this Spark an idea?

Enduring Arbor

A wrought iron arbor is strong enough to hold years of cultivated heritage roses without bowing or bending. The sturdy arbor will age in place beautifully if it is thickly covered in vines or can be refreshed each season with a new coat of paint when it supports annual climbers. Look for unusual arch shapes or line up two arbors to form an extended entry. Attach roses to begin training them to cover the arbor. Once they are grown, they will hold fast to the support, but initially you should tie three or four large canes with plastic garden tape or twine. Twine will eventually rot, but the roses may not need securing after the first year or two. Position the arbor at the border of the garden and the patio, and use stepping stones to make a small stair from the lawn or garden path to the paving.

Self-Contained Arbor Seat

An arbor made of branches woven into an arch with a built-in bench made from wood is a solitary sculpture in winter and a delightful alcove for reading a good book in summer. Plant a climbing vine like clematis or honeysuckle that will embroider the arbor when it's in bloom and die back to reveal the great lines of the structure in late fall and winter. Set several of these natural arbors around a larger garden, tucked in among hedges, or in a small orchard glen.

Arbor Room

A large arbor covering a paved area in the garden creates a shady room for outdoor dining or relaxing. Place worn wood furniture under a wide arch, or two arches, fashioned from tree trunks of red cedar and covered with wisteria or bougainvillea. A string of lights or some solar lamps turn the respite into a conversation spot at night. Instead of an entry, this arbor becomes a destination, accessed by a steppingstone path half-overgrown by ground cover. Plant walls of shrubs and ferns on all sides of the arbor and paving for a sense of privacy in the middle of the garden.

Garden Gate

Invite visitors to your garden with a welcoming arbor, covered in lilac or morning glory, over a low gate. A white-painted barrel-vaulted arbor with a picket fence that swings open in the middle yields a classic look. An arbor of weathered wood over a brightly-painted door in turquoise or emerald green hints at a secret garden beyond. A garden gate arbor can be a break in a stacked stone wall or a high wall of faded vintage brick, or it might be part of a fence that is similarly planted with climbing vines and shrubs.

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