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Is An Arbour Right For Your Garden?

An arbour can be the centrepiece of any garden design. It is often the focal point of a garden and creates a shady seating option for those who want to truly experience their garden upon completion and within full bloom. However, there's quite a few logistical concerns that gardeners need to take into consideration before they select an arbour, which ultimately ends up proving itself to be inappropriate for their design. Let's take a look at some of the key things gardeners need to think about before buying an arbour.

The Setting

The most important, and often most neglected, part of selecting an arbour is the setting it's placed in. This goes beyond just where it's going to be placed in a backyard or other garden feature. It's the plants selections that surround an arbour. Most designers will argue that arbour should be centrally placed amongst a setting that surrounds and encapsulates it. However, how gardeners go about this is another issue altogether.

Many arbours will be fixed in the sense that they're freestanding objects that will require gardeners to plant around them. This can lead gardeners towards choosing options such as hedges, trees, vines, and other large plants. Other arbours will allow gardeners to place smaller potted plants within the feature to create a more even flowing result. Whatever the case may be, the right setting is key to the overall aesthetics of an arbour and must be taken into consideration before any thought is given to the actual placement of an arbour.

Existing Garden

For gardeners who already have an established garden, then it's also important to question whether or not the arbour would fit the actual style of the garden that's in place. This question isn't as important for those who don't already have an existing garden in their homes, since an arbour can become a central design point for gardeners who are just getting something new together. However, a poorly placed arbour within an existing garden can create a very poor visual experience.

Gardeners often need to remember that arbours can be, and often are, quite large objects that require quite a bit of attention given to their setting. This would make them unsuitable for gardens that are primarily composed of small, low growing flowers or small shrubs. While it's true that an arbour can be placed amongst them, gardeners will need to pay attention to the setting that's immediately surrounding the arbour in order to create the best visual effect. This will include planting some large shrubs, plants, trees, or hedges in order to help establish the arbour and frame it.


Another often neglected aspect about arbour selection is the need to consider the fencing of the garden. Because arbours come in a variety of different designs, making the wrong choice can create a clash with the fencing that's already in the garden. This is something that's best avoided and is another point to consider in the overall consideration being made to the setting.

Consider Climbing Plants

One design idea that's particularly fashionable at the moment is to consider the use of climbing plants. Climbing roses are sought after within an arbour design, but it's important to pay attention to soil adaptations. Not all types of roses are able to grow in every area, so gardeners will have to choose a rose that's suitable for their own soil conditions.

Using a trellis is also a design feature that many gardeners choose to accommodate alongside an arbour. Sometimes, gardeners find that they're not all that suitable against an arbour since their freestanding design tends to clash with the already freestanding structure that the arbour provides, which ends up creating a slightly blocky effect. This can be something that accommodates pallet gardening quite nicely, but is otherwise unsuitable for a more traditional garden.

Create Flow

While arbours can exist in their own right as freestanding objects, they're usually best suited when used to create some sort of flow within a garden. It is wise to add an entrance towards the arbour or even use it as a destination towards another feature, like benches or a particularly spectacular floral feature. Creating a sense of harmony between the arbour and its surroundings is a key way to ensure a successful placement. 

Be sure to take a look at some of our arbours and see if there is one that would fit with your garden.  If you want to find out more about the arbours and arches that we offer be sure to watch our informative video below.

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