All About Arbors All About Arbors

Nothing is prettier than an arbor covered in climbing roses or
honeysuckle, or whatever your favorite climbing flower might be.
Arbors have been around for about as long as people have been building
homes, and were especially popular during the Victorian era. Arbors
do more than provide a beautiful view - they add ambiance and value to
any setting. Here, we will discuss arbors, styles and what is
currently available.

Defining an Arbor

FreeDictionary.com defines an arbor as "A shady resting place in a
garden or park, often made of rustic work or latticework on which
plants, such as climbing shrubs or vines, are grown." Arbors can be
in many styles and designs, from a rustic wooden one to the newer
vinyl models available today. They add a focal point to any garden,
and combined with outdoor furniture, and make an ideal place to sit
and relax after a hard day of work. They are typically designed in an
arch, and can have lattice work to support climbing plants. There are
hundreds of styles to choose from in wood, iron and vinyl.

The latest landscaping trend is towards using arbors for creating an
"outdoor room" that is separate from the main home. The setting can be
used for entertaining or just enjoying your outdoor space. This
setting can be ideal for a property that has no real focal point, such
as rolling hills or formal gardens. Large arbors are ideal for the
placement of lawn furniture and benches, and offer a retreat to the
owner.

Different Designs

Depending on the look you are striving for, arbors come in so many
different configurations that it is very easy to make your final
choice. For the rustic country garden, you may opt for a wooden
arbor, and in a more formal garden, you can opt for the Greek style
arbor that is made in vinyl for a more sophisticated look. Many
companies offer matching benches and planting boxes that can be
incorporated with the arbor to build a sitting place in the setting.
Some styles even have "porch swings" that are built into the arbor.

Types and Pricing

Here is a list of what is available today to give you an idea of what
is out there. We'll take a look at the three kinds - wooden, vinyl,
and iron.

  1. From Home Depot, the Vienna Arbor. 58" height and
    24.25" wide. 49"x91.5"x24" actual size. Made in vinyl,
    white only. UV protected. Maintenance free. $259.00
    including shipping.
  2. From Home Depot, the Wrought Iron Arbor Bench.
    Nostalgic design features a bench across the width.
    Ideal for climbing roses or honeysuckle. More a
    retreat than actual arbor. Size 48"x22.8"x88". Durable
    steel construction with a powder coated antique finish.
    Will require maintenance. Priced at $169.00, it is
    available online only.
  3. From Arthurlauer.com, a high end teak arbor, sized
    at 72Wx72Dx106H. The Bradstreet Garden Arbor is made
    from beautiful teak in a contemporary design, with custom
    routing on standards and an elegant finial to top it off.
    Available in kit form only. Priced at $2,240.00
  4. A more reasonable cedar arbor, the Window Cedar Arbor
    has latticed sides with cut out windows. It is rounded
    and dimensions are 24" D x 88" H x 36" Opening. Cedar is
    low maintenance. Many people like to let it turn a gray
    tone as it weathers, but it can be finished to maintain
    the cedar look. Priced at $289.95 from Yardiac.com.
  5. The Ashbury Garden Arbor is made from vinyl, and will
    never rust or need maintenance. Vinyl makes a good
    material for an arbor because the color will never chip.
    The color goes through the entire piece. Sized at
    35.5" X 55.5" X 105.25". Priced at $659.99 at
    Gardenarborestore.com.

As you can see, arbors come in many sizes, shapes and price ranges.
If you would like to attempt to build one on your own, blueprints for
many different styles are available online at wrcla.org.

A garden arbor can make a great focal point for an otherwise blah
yard. With so many designs and price ranges available, there is
little reason that you can't find something that meets your needs.
When it is time to landscape this spring, give some thought to
installing a garden arbor.

Alden Smith is an award winning author and regular contributor to DoItYourself.com. He writes on a variety of subjects, and excels in research.

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