How to install a garden arbour

What is a garden arbour? A garden arbour is an elegant addition to almost any garden. Garden arbours are arches which you can trail plants around to create a charming focal point, perhaps on the edge of your lawn or nestling beneath a mature tree. Most include a seat to provide a relaxing – or romantic – place from which to enjoy your hard work.

Garden arbours come in a range of styles and varieties. The most basic versions feature bare wood, with a simple canopy over the top. You’ll also find intricate trellis work which is ideal for vines and climbing plants, and a number of different canopy styles, from classic gothic arches, to Japanese style curved roofs, to minarets that evoke pleasant memories or visions of Arabian Nights.

The basics of garden arbour installation

Garden arbour installation is not hard although you may need a helper for some parts of the job. Most garden arbours can be installed with the use of a power drill, a screwdriver, a hammer and a spirit level, although you may also need to lay some concrete if your arbour is going into a windy spot.

a banner linking through to our arbour selection, including an image of a garden arch and arbour

Pick your spot

Arbours can go in most parts of the garden. Ideally, they should be erected on an area of firm earth, to make it easier to trail plants up it, although they can also go on a hard surface like concrete, decking or paving stones – you can always use pot plants instead.

You need to make sure the area is clear of any significant rocks or weeds, and give the arbour a little space around it as you’ll need to maintain the wood with preservative or paint in a few years.

Fixing the foundations

A windy day can topple your arbour if it’s not securely fixed to the ground so it’s important to give it a solid base. There are several options available, depending on the type of surface you want to install your garden arbour in.

For a concrete or other hard surface – use post holders that can be bolted down. The arbour struts can then be inserted into the holder.

For a soil surface in a sheltered part of the garden – use spike post holders. Driving the long spike into the soil is easily done with a hammer.

For a soil surface in where the arbour may experience high winds – use a concrete base. Dig a hole so that the post holder is at least 5cm below the surface, then lay the concrete and insert the post holder. Leave it for at least 24 hours before continuing with the rest of the installation.

Erecting the arbour

First put up the posts and make sure they are level. Now add the cross pieces so that you have a solid structure. Next add the side pieces. Finally, top off the structure with the roof.

You should use screws rather than nails where possible, as these will create a stronger fixing.

If your garden arbour has extra features such as extra panels for entertaining or additional seating, then your requirements may vary, but all of our garden arbours come with instructions.

If you'd rather watch than read, this video contains vast amounts of useful information about both arches and arbours:

Enjoying your garden arbour

Once your garden arbour has been installed, you will discover lots of ways of enjoying it. Whether you scatter cushions on the seats or plant some fragrant climbers like star jasmine, honeysuckle or clematis.

Installing your own garden arbour is easily done and provides a great way of adding extra interest to your garden.

Here are three of our most popular units; click on the images to find out more:

a traditional wooden arbour in situ an innovative garden arbour designed to be converted into a bbq station a japanese-style wooden garden arbour accessorised with red cushion and blanket

Why not take a look at all the different options to see which takes your fancy? And, don't forget, our friendly, UK-based customer service team will be more than happy to answer any of your questions about our products and the installation process. Plus, if you've found this article useful, feel free to share it with family and friends on social media, or leave a comment down below! Whilst you're here, have a browse through our other blogs; this post explains how to add arbours, pergolas, and gazebos to your garden.