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Garden arches and arbours for an easy garden transformation

Install a garden arch or arbour for instant impact

Garden designers know it, and garden furniture manufacturers have caught on - an arch or arbour catches the eye and invites us to explore. Visit classic historical gardens like Hidcote Manor or Sissinghurst and you’ll find arches beckoning you, and arbours positioned to allow you to pause and enjoy a view and the nearby scent of flowers.  There is something a bit romantic and magical about the light under an arch or arbour. Paths are striped with light and shadow. Look up and you'll see interesting design details - slats and cross beams - supporting a rambling rose or scented climber.

Now we can all buy from a huge range of wooden arches and arbours to suit our smaller scale gardens.  TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh says they’re great for distracting the eye from an unsightly view. And he’s right, of course. So if you’re  irritated by a tatty old garage or the sight of your neighbour’s extension, use an arbour or an arch to take the eye to something much more interesting and inviting.

Some of our Forest Garden favourites

The Forest Garden Venetian Corner Arbour is a contemporary, versatile garden shelter designed to fit snugly into a garden corner.  Its benching fits four people comfortable and its slatted roof  provides good weather protection as well as a lovely light quality in a sunny day.

The Forest Garden Rose Arch is a traditional design made from half-round poles, with wide diamond lattice work and a classic pointed apex.  It's charming, and the perfect excuse to buy two of your favourite climbing roses. Once installed and planted up, it'll provide the perfect transition to a lawn or patio.
The popular Forest Garden Sorrento Arbour  is part lattice trellis, part covered seating and part pergola.  Its corner construction means you can nestle it in between two well-planted beds and sit and enjoy a protected sunny spot. It will hide an less than attractive aspect or add interest to a wall or boundary fence.

Take a look at the complete range of wooden arches and arbours from Forest Garden’s range to get a feel for what one will add to your outdoor space.

Tips for designing with garden arches or arbours

Once your arch is put together, get some willing helpers to haul it around and try out possible positions before you commit to sinking the uprights in securely. Likewise, check out the prevailing wind direction and sources of shade before you fix the final position of your arbour. Take a few steps back and look at it from different perspectives, is it doing the job you want it to do?

Try placing a couple of handsome matching planters at the base of an arch to create a real sense of entrance and substance. This is especially effective if it’s leading through to a secret garden or private corner.

Use two or more arches along a path to create a covered walkway effect or colonnade. This is a classic garden design technique. It creates privacy and provides shelter when walking between a house and garage, or on a path to a home office or summerhouse.

Paint your arch or arbour, there is a fantastic range of outdoor paints out there. Choose a mellow heritage colour for a harmonious, calm look or something brighter and bolder for real zing and theatre. This can be a great way to ensure your garden design maintains visual interest for you in the winter when blossom and leaves have been blown away.

What to grow over an arch or arbour

The popular Gardeners’ World forum has over 15,000 views on suggestions for what to plant up arches or over arbours so there are plenty of us out there already loving the impact of vertical garden design.

Plan to plant up and around your new structure. Now is not too late for planting bare-rooted roses to get established this spring. Very popular is the white scented Madame Alfred Carriere Rose with Clematis Comtesse de Bouchard or Etoile Violette growing up through it. If you want evergreen cover, try Clematis Armandii for a big glossy spread and great scented flowers. Even in autumn and winter the bare twisting stems of these plants form a garden sculptural beauty of their own. Winter can also be a great time to hang bird feeders from an arbour corner. There must be no greater garden pleasure than sitting still out of the wind and watching birds come to feed close by.

Finally, don’t forget some low-level planting. Lavender will bring fragrance as well as soften path edges and borders.

For info on the perfect climbing clematis for your arch or arbour, visit Clematis/RHS Gardening

For information on our wide range of garden arches and arbours, or any other garden supplies, contact the experts at Turnbull & Co Ltd on 01529 308839 or via our webchat facility.