How To Choose An Arbor

Many of us harbor dreams of beautiful flower gardens scattered about our properties---with inviting pathways and gorgeous places to admire all that nature has to offer! Arbors are good ways of making those dreams happen! There are few more romantic and picturesque things than an arbor welcoming you into a garden.

Table of Contents Hide

However, picking the right arbor is crucial---you'll want to get it just right for the magic to truly happen!

What materials should an arbor be made of?

Arbors can be made out of a variety of materials! Consider how you'll use the space as well as the likely elements that your arbor will be routinely exposed to.

  • Wood: The two most popular types of wood for structural integrity and aesthetic appeal are cedar and pine. Both will stand up to rain and sun exposure---and cedar may even repel some types of bugs from your living spaces.
Solid Fir Wood Arbor
Stylish Solid Cedar Wood Arbor
Simple Wooden Arbor
Outdoor Garden Solid Fir Wood Arbor
White Wooden Arbor
Solid Cedar Wood Arched Arbor
  • Wrought Iron: For a rustic feel consider a wrought iron arbor. Its rough black surface will look wonderful next to the delicate curls of flower petals and the slim, spiky grasses outside. A wrought iron arbor will instantly feel like it's been in the space of hundreds of years, buying you instant sentimental appeal.
Ornate Iron Arbor With Bench
Decorative Ornate Iron Arbor With Gates
Modern Style Iron Arched Arbor
Arched Iron Decorative Arbor
Distressed Pain Iron Arbor
Simple Arched Iron Arbor With Base
  • Vinyl: While vinyl may not have the romance or presence of a solid wood or wrought iron arbor, it is basically maintenance-free. Wood and iron require special treatment to ensure that they do not rot or rust, while vinyl generally takes care of itself in the long term.
White Vinyl Arbor
Simple Stylish Vinyl Arbor
White Simple Wide Vinyl Arbor
Minimal White Vinyl Arbor
Stylish White Arched Vinyl Arbor
  • Steel: If you're looking for an arbor that will have an industrial vibe or truly stand the test of time, look no further than steel as a base material.
Decorative Steel Arched Arbor
Distressed Paint Steel Arched Arbor
Decorative Steel Arbor With Gate
Simple Minimal Steel Arbor
Contemporary Style Round Steel Arbor
Tall Steel Arched Arbor

What are the different types of arbors?

Would you like an arbor with a built-in bench? What about hooks for flower-pots or double trellises? No matter what you'd like to do with your arbor, there's a specific type that will work best for you.

If you're looking for an arbor with accessories, here are ouse of the most popular kinds: 

  • Attached gates: Want to use your arbor as an entryway for a garden or another section of your property? Use an attached gate to make that statement with style. 

  • Attached planters: Arbors are naturally associated with gardens and greenery, but if you'd like to make that association even stronger, try attaching a planter to the arbor itself! This will work particularly well if you have any plants that need to be elevated or get specific levels of sun that may not be available in your natural planting space. 

  • Attached seats: Sometimes, you're just looking for a place to relax. An arbor can bring that opportunity to you in style with a build-in bench. With natural shade and places to lean your head, an arbor bench may just be the loveliest place to catch your breath we've ever heard of! 

  • Indoor arbors: While most arbors are thought of as outdoor pieces, if you have a need for one that works inside there are models that will work well for you!

Black Steel Arbor With Gate
Oriental Bamboo Arbor With Bench
Wooden Arbor With Swing
Decorative Cedar Wood Arbor With Gate
Wide Double Bench Wooden Arbor
Ornate Iron Arbor With Bench

What are the different arbor designs?

As a mostly aesthetic product --- unless you go for an arbor with productive accessories! --- a large part of what you're buying when you purchase an arbor is its design capabilities. You'll find a large array of differing patterns and designs on the market, including:

  • Arched Arbors: These types of arbors are extremely traditional and feature a romantic archway in the middle. 

  • Pergolas: For an arbor with a more rectangular silhouette, choose a pergola! Traditionally, these consist of four rounded columns supporting a slatted roof. 

  • Latticed Arbors: A latticed arbor is made of criss-crossed, thin pieces of wood---perfect to support crawling vines and flowers growing over the arbor itself. 

  • Gabled Arbors: Very similar to an arched arbor, a gabled arbor simply has a peak at its top instead of a rounded curve.

Black Steel Arbor
Appalachian Wood Rustic Arbor
Romantic Arched Arbor
Japanese Style Arbor
Arched Pergola Wood Arbor

Arbors tend to come in natural colors to best complement their organic outdoor backdrops. If you would rather make a statement with a brighter color, simply look for a wooden arbor or a vinyl one which can easily be repainted. While you may have to spend a little more time to get the effect you desire, you won't have to invest as much in an arbor built of good or aesthetic materials in the first place!

What size arbor should I get?

The size of arbor you should purchase depends on where you'd like to put it; so, before you go shopping, measure the path over which you'd like the arbor to go. 

The most common widths for arbors range from three to ten feet. If you're looking to have an arbor to cover a pathway, three feet is likely sufficient; however, measure the place you'd like the arbor to encompass prior to purchasing your product! 

Keep in mind that if you purchase an arbor with a built-in bench, planters, or gates, that might make the needed surface area a little bigger.

Quick tips 

  • Look carefully at the place you'd like to use your arbor, and use a measuring tape to get precise measurements before you buy. 
  • Consider how you use the space. If there aren't any nearby seating opportunities, getting an arbor with a built-in bench, for example, might help maximize use of the space.