Garden Arch


Old 08-18-02, 05:33 AM
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Garden Arch

I am new to this, but what I have read on this forum I was very impressed! I found a lot of good advice. I am hoping someone will have some good advice for me too!
I am wanting to build an arch over a sidewalk and plant wisteria on each side. I have a wide sidewalk. so buying an arch is out of the question. I would like to build it out of treated 2x4's and lattice panels. Does anyone have any ideas or maybe a website that I could use that would help.

Also, would lattice panels hold up to the weight of wisteria, or does it need to be reinforced with something?

Any help I can get would be appreciated.
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Old 08-18-02, 05:42 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Acton, Ontario, Canada - Zone 6b
Posts: 413
Hello 3days and Welcome to

I suspect that the lattice panels will not be strong enough as the wisteria grows and the trunks may actually break them apart if the laticework doesn't strangle the plant first.

You could try using 2x2's spaced 6" to a foot apart in a ladder type arrangement or create a sculted effect with differnt wood pieces (2x2's, 2x4's, 1x2's, etc) which would support the plants as they grow.

Just one opinion - now we'll let the REAL Experts give you their opinions...

Good Luck

Old 08-18-02, 07:29 AM
fewalt's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: sw VA
Posts: 3,100

Howie is right, lattice is weak and won't hold up.

What you would probably want is more of a pergola style structure.

Look in garden magazines for various pictures and possibilities.
Also check and key in and search on: pergola construction images

Old 08-18-02, 08:59 AM
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Hi 3Days,

I watched the Gardener's Journal yesterday afternoon. They were at a Botanical garden showing a beautiful, blooming wisteria. They said to use 6 x 6" posts for a pergola, as they'd seen 4 x 4 posts crushed by large wisterias.

They also recommended the Lawrence variety. It blooms in a few years where some other varieties can take 10 years. The bloloms were huge.

If you get HGTV, there are garden shows on both Sat. and Sun. I try not to miss the Gardener's Journal and A Gardener's Diary. CST time is 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Old 08-18-02, 09:30 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Hi 3days,

Gami is correct. You will need a stainless steel reinforced pergola if you're going to use 4x4's. Better to use 6x6. I don't know how wide your sidewalk is, but it should be at least 6' wide for a wisteria. She is also correct about the 'Lawrence' variety! It is more cold hardy and won't be nipped by a late frost, though you don't list your location.

Here's the pergola we built over our entrance to our garden. We just love it! We didn't do the arch part, but everything else is the same and it's 4' wide. I'm growing the clematis montanas to cover the fence and pergola. The montanas can grow up to 30' and there a few that are fragrant as well. There are also other clematis that would be suitable for your arch as well as several types of climbing roses. There are even climbers that are thornless.

Here's a link to their main page.

Here's some others:
This is probably what you had in mind and it won't work for a wisteria.

Here's more:
This is more what you'll need for a wisteria. Keep in mind that you'll need to do it out of 6x6's.

Hope these are helpful. Don't hesitate to ask more questions.

Good luck,
Old 08-18-02, 11:17 AM
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Hi again 3Days,

Here are a couple of discussions on growing wisteria and their arbors from GardenWeb -

Interesting reading on how to care for them also.

Newt, I forgot they also mentioned the reason some wisterias don't bloom is because the buds are killed during the winter. They agreed with you--that doesn't happen to the Lawrence wisteria. So all the root pruning and other things tried to get it to bloom are virtually a waste of time.

Thanks for all those links. We would like to build one someday with a bench inbetween.

Old 08-18-02, 07:09 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Gami and 3days,

Here's another I forgot to send you. If you do a search here you should find more plans.

Have fun!

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