Georgia Gardener Newsletter Design Tip: June 1, 2006

Garden Arbors

Garden arbors can be as unique as the garden or gardener itself. They can purchased pre-assembled in materials such as wood, wrought iron or plastic. They are also easily constructed using either pressure-treated wood products or from materials found in the garden including cut limbs and tree trunks.

Arbors serve several purposes in the garden. They define entrance ways, separate garden areas or rooms, create a focal point, provide visual height and give the gardener the opportunity to garden vertically in tight areas.

If you choose to cover your arbor with a vine, it should be sturdy enough to support the vine's weight and be anchored to prevent tipping in wind or ice. The arbor should also be tall and wide enough to allow people and equipment to easily pass through. I usually recommend that the inside dimensions of an arbor be at least 3-4 feet wide and 7 feet high. Arbors can also be built with gates or over an existing fence gate.

There are many vines that look great growing over an arbor:

For full sun: Climbing Roses, Crossvine, native Amethyst Falls Wisteria*, Carolina Jessamine or Clematis Jackmanii. If your arbor is sturdy and large enough, you can also use it for grapes.

For partial shade: Confederate Jasmine, Clematis armandii or Variegated Virginia Creeper.

*Do not plant invasive Asian species of Wisteria (floribunda or sinensis).

For more information on garden arbors, visit this website.

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