Design Your Own Arbor Design Your Own Arbor

What You'll Need
Graph paper
Computer with Internet
Colored pencils
Landscape tape measure

A garden arbor is a great way to add a focused entry point. It will put the finishing touches to the framework of your garden and provide a way to give your landscape a sense of style and elegance.

Designing your own arbor is an easy project and only requires some simple tools and creative imagination.

Step One - Measure Garden Area

The first step to designing anything is to see how much room you have to work with. Use a landscaping tape measure to get the dimensions of your garden. This type of tape measure is soft and comes in 50 foot and 100 foot lengths.

Measure the entire garden's square footage. This will help you make a scale drawing of your arbor plans and ensure you do not build your arbor too large. As much as an arbor will add charm to the entry of your garden, it will also look very out of place if it is too large.

Step Two - Draw Garden onto Graph Paper

Sit down outside near you garden and draw out on graph paper the outline of where everything is. Draw the outline according to the dimensions you took earlier. Use a set scale on your graph paper for everything. This means to use the blocks as a certain footage so that everything on paper will be in proportion to the actual garden. Use large block graph paper and assign a measurement of 1 foot per square.

Once the outline is drawn into your plan, begin putting in where the various plants, trees, water features, patios, playground equipment or anything else is in your garden. Again, this is to give you an idea of how large the arbor should be and where it should be located.

Step Three - Determine Location of Arbor

With your garden plan in hand, walk over your garden and determine the best location for your arbor. This is going to be determined by a few different factors. First, the sun's location is important. If you are going to put plants and vines around the arbor, you will want to make sure it is in a place where the sun requirements will be met. Second, is the slope of the ground. You will not want to put the arbor in a place where the water runoff can cause mud and a build up of debris at your arbor. Last, you want a central location where you can easily enter the garden.

Step Four - Decide on Materials

A wood arbor is presents many different design options while a plastic or metal arbor will usually come in a kit to be assembled. You can use different types of wood from cedar, pine, oak and even maple to give your arbor different looks.

Step Five - Begin Construction

After your plans are completed you can begin construction of your new garden arbor. With the plans in hand you should be able to build a great arbor that will last for years to come.

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