Creating and Maintaining a Rose Arbor

What You'll Need
Measuring Tape
Spirit Level
Waterproof Glue
Step Ladders
Paint Brush

This is a two part guide: the first part will explain how to create a rose arbor and the second will give you tips on maintaining it. A rose arbor is a great addition to most gardens as it can create a division between different areas of your garden, allowing you to have a vegetable patch and a seating area without the garden looking unorganized.

Creating a Rose Arbor

1. Preparation

You need to decide on the type of wood, the size of the rose arbor and the shape of the structure. The most weather resistant wood is cedar. The size of the arbor in this guide is going to be 8 feet by 3 feet with a depth of 1 foot to ensure that both people and patio furniture can get though the simple rectangular structure.

2. Cutting your Wood

Cut the wood to the correct height of 8 feet using a saw. Double check the measurements.

3. Digging your Foundations

Mark out where the corner posts will go, they should make a rectangle shape measuring 3 foot by 1 foot. Dig each point to a depth of 1 foot to ensure the structure is sturdy.

4. Making Concrete

Make concrete by mixing together sand, gravel and cement to the ratio of 3:2:1. Add water until you get a viscous liquid.

5. Making your Foundations

Place a piece of wood for the rose arbor in one of the holes and fill with concrete. Repeat this step. Before the concrete has dried, ensure the wood is straight using a spirit level and join together at the top with a horizontal piece of wood to prevent the wood from tilting.

6. Making the Cross Member

The cross member is the roof of the structure. Create a ladder-like structure with the sides of the ladder being three feet long and the rungs being a foot long. To ensure they are secure, nail them together using long nails and a hammer.

7. Assembling

When the concrete has set, make the sides of the arbor look like the cross member. Then, place the cross member on top of the structure and secure in place with glue and nails. A set of step ladders and a friend footing the ladder will make this job a lot easier.

8. Varnishing

Using a paintbrush add a layer of varnish to the rose arbor. Once the roses have grown, you will not be able to see the varnish, but it will weatherproof the structure a little bit.

9. Roses

No rose arbor would be complete without the roses, so plant a rose bush at either side of the arbor. You might want to look for climbing roses. The best season to plant rose bushes is in the autumn.

Maintaining a Rose Arbor

As the rose bushes grow, they will try and grow into a mound rather than up the arbor, so placing bamboo shoots in the rose bush and twisting the vines around will help with this problem. As the rose bush grows further, twine the vines around the structure of the rose arbor.

The first two or three years after building your rose arbor it is important to just train the roses to climb the arbor. After three years, you may need to prune the bushes to neaten up the rose arbor but only prune the roses after the blooming season has ended.