Add Garden Interest with an Arbor


Creating a charming space in an ordinary garden can be as easy as placing an arbor in the entranceway. With a few basic styles and an endless number of variations to choose from, the perfect arbor is out there just waiting to be found.

What makes a garden? Beautiful flowers and a thoughtful design may be the foundations, but sometimes all it takes to add a bit of flair is the addition of a simple arbor.

In this article, we’ll give you a quick rundown of various types of arbors and a few of the ways they can enhance your garden spaces.

Basic Arbor Varieties

Arbors come in various styles and materials. It’s up to the homeowner to decide which will work best for them based on the advantages and disadvantages of each.


Every material will provide something unique to a landscape. Make a decision based on the ambiance you want to create, the maintenance you are willing to do, and the functional benefits of each material.

  • Wooden arbors naturally complement any garden, and their charm only grows with time as the wood becomes part of the landscape. Different kinds of wood hold up differently to weather and time, and each will require a varying amount of maintenance.
  • Classic metal arbors are often simple and unadorned—perfect additions that don’t distract from the garden itself—and the patina that they develop over time only adds to their charm. They will withstand the elements well without needing constant care.
  • Vinyl is an excellent option for the homeowner who doesn’t want the maintenance of wood or the oxidation of metal. Vinyl arbors can be easily rinsed off with a hose as needed and are hardy in all conditions.


Arched arbors are what most people consider to be the traditional style. Metal arbors in this form are attractive because they can be shaped in one continuous piece. The quintessential entranceway piece, arches can also be used as dividers inside a garden.

Pergola-style arbors have vertical sides topped with a perpendicular crossbeam that often extends past the columns. Many are wooden or vinyl. Pergola-style arbors are fantastic for spatial dividers or as invitations to a secluded garden.

Arbors as Enhancers

Simply placing an arbor in your landscape can transform a space from a run-of-the-mill flowerbed into a special and inviting area. All it takes is a little thought and maybe a bit of experimentation.

Consider some of these additional benefits:

  • In the winter, when most flowers and shrubs aren’t lush and blooming, an arbor may become the conversation-starter in your yard and the centerpiece of your landscape.
  • In an otherwise flat landscape, arbors create interest simply by adding height and variety in structure. An arbor on either side of a space will also create depth in an enclosed area.
  • Some arbors have a bench nestled between the columns, creating a small sanctuary from which to enjoy your flowers. Tuck this arbor away to make a mid-afternoon staycation as easy as visiting the backyard.

Best Florida Plants for Arbors

If you’re looking to take your arbor to the next level, choosing the perfect plant to grow over it is the way to go. In Florida, think about allamanda, mandevilla, climbing roses, jasmine, or bougainvillea.

As you decide on a plant, consider how quickly it grows, the maintenance it will require, and if it will give you the look you want for your garden.

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