Versatility is a key characteristic when it comes to arbors. Similar to trellises, Arbors facilitate vertical plant growth, giving your garden depth and dimension. But the perfect arbor can do even more.
Placed strategically, an arbor acts as a much-needed focal point in any outdoor area. They can signify a grand entryway into your garden, add a cozy covered seating area, and provide a dazzling focal point that exudes your personal style.
There's little limit to the amount of character an arbor can add to your outdoor space. Whatever your needs, they'll be best served if you choose an arbor suited to the size of your space. Shopping to scale is easy. Just remember that large areas require bigger arbors, and small areas require smaller arbors. This simple rule will ensure you choose an arbor that seamlessly blends into your yard or garden. Arbors generally range in width from 42 to 122 inches and most are between 7 and 8 feet in height.
Arbors are available in several variations, but two styles dominate arbor design.
What most people would consider the most traditional form, arched-style arbors are distinguished by their arced tops. These are often used in gardens as entry and exit points, but they also work for spatial division or as a flora-flecked accent. Arched-style arbors are frequently found constructed of metal because it can be easily crafted into a singular, flowing arc shape. Vinyl material also suits this design, but isn't as commonly used. Wooden arched-style arbors are a little less common due to the difficulty it takes to craft them, but they do exist. So be persistent if wood is your preference - an arbor built to your specifications is out there.
Pergola-style arbors offer Grecian-inspired elegance perfect for decks and garden spaces. Their robust character stems from a design that showcases their dual column design, topped off with a flat cross-beam top. These beams run perpendicular to the columns, which produces natural shade. This makes pergola-style arbors a great solution for a covered seating area. Pergola-style arbors generally feature solid wood construction which adds natural charm to your natural space.
For every garden arbor, there's a material type to match. Some of the more popular materials include wood, vinyl, iron and metal. Here's a closer look at three of the types below:
Wood construction is timeless. Its classic textural appearance adds natural allure and complements outdoor spaces with ease. This rustic charm grows with weather-related wear, accenting your yard space with warmth and an enchanting time-tested feel. Teak or cedar woods are your best bet if you live where weather conditions tend toward the erratic. These dense woods can withstand environmental drama better than most, and always look better for it. Be sure to research your specific wood type as intermittent or regular maintenance may be required to ensure long-lasting integrity before you make a decision about material.
Vinyl suits spaces that are frequently subjected to weather extremes. It's nearly impervious to scorching heat and freezing temperatures alike. This means that vinyl won't fade or splinter like wood, nor will it patina or dent like metal. Such integrity makes it a truly evergreen material that's versatile enough to accommodate any style of space. Cleaning vinyl is also incredibly simple. A light spritz of hose water does the trick, much like the vinyl siding found on homes around the world.
Make sure to compare a vinyl arbor to other materials to ensure you've made the right choice. Some vinyl pieces are crafted to resemble natural materials, but upon close inspection, these sometimes fail to exhibit the rustic charm found in elements like wood and metal. On the other hand, some vinyl arbors, like those from New England Arbors, do an amazing job of simulating the look of real wood.
Metal arbors are easy to care for and won't succumb to the elements. Design-wise, they are often sleek and simple, which makes allows you to showcase your flora rather than the arbor itself. This makes them ideal for green-thumbs of any variety. Metal is also the only material that develops a soft green patina with time and exposure. This quality lends an added oomph of natural allure, perfect for outdoor spaces of any variety.