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Garden Arbor Buyer's Guide

Thinking about a garden arbor? Read this Garden Arbor Buyer's Guide first, to help you decide what type of arbor you need.

Garden arbors are attractive pieces of garden sculpture that make a beautiful addition to any home.

Arbors can also serve as a lovely entry way into your garden, patio, or yard. Additionally, garden arbors can help cool and shade your yard. If you add a bench to your garden arbor, youíve got an attractive, shaded reading nook that you can enjoy all summer long.

Arbors also allow you to grow unusual and interesting plants such as vines and climbing roses. There are tons of plants you can grow on your arbor. With a garden arbor, you can add a new and exciting dimension to your gardening experience.

If you grow plants on your arbor, you can take advantage of unused vertical space in your yard. Additionally, you can work standing up to tend to your plants. Please see this website from the University of Nebraska for more information on the benefits of gardening vertically.

You can buy very large garden arbors at your local lawn and garden store, but most garden arbors in sizes for the average homeowner are readily available online. Keep in mind that ordering your garden arbor on-line means that you wonít have to drive to the store, load the garden arbor in your car, and haul it back home.

Garden Arbor Materials

Garden arbors are typically made from three different kinds of materials: vinyl, metal, and wood.

Vinyl Arbors

Vinyl is a durable and attractive material. Garden arbors made from vinyl are designed for easy installation because the posts and assembly pieces come out of the mold so that they fit together perfectly. Vinyl arbors also do a nice job of simulating the look and feel of painted wood. They are also lighter than metal and wooden arbors. Vinyl is a great choice if you want an attractive arbor that requires little maintenance and thatís built to last.

Metal Arbors

Metal garden arbors have a unique look and feel that canít be reproduced by a wood or vinyl arbor. Metal garden arbors typically have a ladder-like design which gives them an ďairyĒ feel. The arbor thus allows you to display a variety of climbing plants without the arbor distracting too much from the plants or flowers. Because of their weight, they are usually limited in size. Look for metal arbors made from iron or coated steel. These arbors are attractive, durable and built to last.

Wooden Arbors

Wood garden arbors have a classic look and feel. Because they are made from natural materials, they provide a more natural look to your garden than metal or vinyl arbors. Keep in mind that wooden arbors may have small imperfections in their design. Wood arbors can be treated or painted so that the wood lasts longer. Look for wooden arbors built from durable hard woods like Western Red Cedar.

Garden Arbor Models

Garden arbors come in many different shapes and sizes. The following styles are some of the most popular available. Always keep in mind the look and feel of your home when selecting your garden arbor. You should pick an arbor that reflects or compliments the architectural style of your home.

Gable Garden Arbors

These attractive arbors have a pitched roof design. The sharp angles produce an interesting architectural effect in your garden.

Arched Garden Arbors

The arched arbor is one of the most popular designs available. The gentle curve of the arch creates a soft and natural effect in your garden. Arched arbors are perfect for entry ways. Some arched arbors have a very gentle arch, while others have a more dramatic arch.

Pergola Garden Arbors

Pergola arbors are based on a classic style of European garden structure. They have a series of pillars and an open lattice design which is great for growing vines and other plants. The word pergola comes from the Latin word pergula. Wikipedia defines pergola as ďa projecting eave.Ē

Flat Roof Garden Arbors

Garden arbors with flat roofs are very common. Flat roofs have a classic architectural style that will compliment formal gardens. However, they look great in just about any setting. Try out grape vines or a climbing rose on your flat roofed arbor for an elegant entryway.

Garden Arbors with Benches

The addition of a bench to your garden arbor makes it a functional work of art. You can sit comfortably under your arbor enjoying hours of relaxation.

Gated Garden Arborses

If you want to create an attractive entry into your garden, patio, or yard, try out a garden arbor with a gate.

Garden Arbors with Planters

Purchase a garden arbor with side planters for an easier gardening experience. You can customize the soil in these planters so that you can grow healthy robust plants to accent your arbor.

Tips for Using Your Garden Arbor

Make sure you place your garden arbor where it wonít shade out other plants in your garden. Also, if you grow plants on your arbor youíll want to orient it so that the plants will get plenty of sunlight. If you have strong winds at any time during the year, make sure your arbor is securely installed and located in a safe place where your plants arenít likely to blow off.

If you have vines or other plants growing on your arbor, keep the base of the plant mulched with about four inches of organic mulch. This will ensure that your soil retains water during the warmer weeks of the summer. Some vines and other vertically-growing plants dry out quickly, so make sure and water them frequently.

Keep tabs on your garden arbor so that the plants are growing where you want them to go. Some vines need training to grow up and over your arbor. As your plants grow up your arbor, you may need to keep them fastened to the structure and train them so they wonít slump off or fall. Twine is a good choice for tying your plants, and wonít damage the stems. You can find weatherproof garden twine at your local garden supply store.

Recommended Plants for Garden Arbors

Climbing Roses

Climbing roses are great plants for growing on garden arbors.

You can also train climbing roses over fences, pillars, garden sheds, or other structures in your yard. Remember that rose have very specific needs when it comes to soil and sunlight. You can amend your soil with high quality compost to improve drainage and to give your climbing roses the proper nutrients they need to grow. Roses also appreciate a dose of organic rose fertilizer now and again. Learn more about growing climbing roses on your garden arbor.

Vines and Other Climbing Plants

Vines are an obvious choice for growing on garden arbors and trellises.

Vines can have both attractive foliage and flowers. Wisteria and Trumpet Creeper are popular vines for growing on arbors. Annuals vines such as nasturtium, morning glories, and sweet peas also look great on an arbor and will grow quickly in a single growing season and then die off. Learn more about growing vines on your arbor at this website.

Climbing Fruits and Vegetables

Grapes and passionflower vines (passiflora incarnate) are wonderful plants for growing on your garden arbor. They also have delicious edible fruits which you can enjoy during the gardening season. Check out this website for more information about growing vegetables and fruits on garden arbors.

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