What mood are you trying to create? An arbor can help to
define the style of your garden.
Perhaps your arbor is a gateway to the
backyard of your Victorian home, and you want to evoke a traditional feel with
roses on white latticework.
Or maybe a lighter, iron arbor with clematis
is the right touch for the back of your modern split-level home. Think of the
romantic sweetness of honeysuckle vines screening the hot tub.
It's a Decorative Device
The arbor is a device that draws attention
to a particular element of your garden. Perhaps the plain lines of your vegetable
plot could be augmented by an arc of bright flowers. Or a series of arches could
define a pathway. Adorned with plants, the overhanging greenery invites you to
stroll or stop and smell the roses.
Keep It Simple
shouldn't overwhelm the viewer or upstage the plants. The simplest design works
in your favor. Your choice of materials and geometry will produce different effects.
Miles of Styles
A plain, unpainted wooden arbor with flat,
right angles will appear utilitarian. A shapely 180 degree arc with decorative
posts is more ornate. Experiment with styles but decide on your goal. Do you want
the arbor itself to draw attention, or just blend in with the plants?
A dense mass of vines over a tight pattern of supports will
fully engulf an arbor, it maximum greenery or shade is your goal. But plants can
still work their wonders if you leave more space between the cross members, for
light to penetrate to the ground.
Make It Strong
you do, make it sturdy enough to support the plant. A clematis may not need
as much support as a large grape vine. Remember that a plant can quickly overgrow
an arbor in a few years.
That's the approach for creating appealing arbors.
Now let's meet the arbor's close cousin, the trellis.
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