Why I Love Arches for Climbing Plants and How They Make the Garden Look Wonderful

Arches for climbing plants are about as romantic as a garden can get and can fit right into a do-it-yourself garden project.

Arches for climbing plants

Who doesn't dream of passing under a tunnel of flowering wisteria? Or sitting under an arch of climbing roses?

The garden archway and the plant to which it offers support become one and the same thing, and for this reason, it is necessary to carefully consider what kind of structure, even before the plant, might be the best choice.

Which garden arch to choose

The garden arch can come in different forms, and the choice is based primarily on aesthetic reasons although, as we shall see, other factors must also be taken into account.

There are round arches, convex ogival arches or inflected arches, pointed arches and then, again, arches that look like pergolas.

The choice will fall on the style that has or that we want to give to our garden.

I wrote garden, but arches for climbing plants can also serve a number of other purposes besides supporting plants as they grow taller.

Certainly, an arch that serves as an entrance to garden space is perhaps the most common use one might expect but it is not the only one.

An archway leaning against a wall and covered with creepers, for example, can, through the skillful use of mirrors in the garden, be transformed into a virtual doorway that gives spatial depth to a confined space.

Also leaning against the wall and mounted on a recycled pallet, one can, with appropriate modifications, transform an archway into a woodshed or to arrange flower pots vertically.

Again: under an arch leaning against a wall can be placed a bench whose size will depend on the size of the arch itself.

An arch in the shape of a pergola would be ideal in this case, and would allow us to be able to admire the garden while sitting comfortably under a plant canopy. Is there a more beautiful and precious throne one could aspire to?

The seat can be an integral part of the arch itself, or one can easily construct a stone and wood bench to be placed in its niche.

Similarly, a door can be included in the arch you are going to purchase, which makes the idea of passage from one room to another even better.

Anchoring the arches for creepers well

Remember that garden archways need to be solid and firmly anchored to the ground, just as fence posts need to be anchored.

The roots of the creepers act as an additional anchor but, at the same time, they also provide an obstacle for wind gusts.

Make up your mind about how many days a year, more or less, there have been very very strong wind episodes and consider the effect that might have on a creeper arch.

I can assure you that significant wind gusts could put a strain on both the anchorage of the arch and the roots of the plants themselves.

Maintenance of arches for climbing plants

Typically, garden archways are made of metal or wood; other materials are to be ruled out.

An arch needs to ensure a long service life since a plant needs its own time to get to cover the arch and, once it has climbed to the top, it needs to find an equally solid support to ensure its development, which includes the swelling of branches.

A metal arch must be properly treated to prevent rusting, which would, in the long run, compromise both its appearance and solidity.

In the same way, wooden arches must also be properly treated to avoid mold and rot caused by constant exposure to the elements.

It goes without saying that it cannot be assumed that an arch, once assembled, does not need any maintenance until the end of its days.

On the contrary, constant maintenance will prolong its life but, such maintenance, will also be hampered by the progressive growth of the climbing plant.

Whether it is paint or impregnating agent it will be necessary, sooner or later, to work on the structure to preserve it over time and ensure its durability.

Matching a climbing arch to a fence

A garden arch, no matter how beautiful and finely decorated, no matter how covered with a flowering creeper, makes little sense when placed in the middle of nowhere.

An arch, intended as a place of passage, makes sense to the extent that it is paired with another structure, such as a fence or hedge.

The arch then becomes a focal point and really becomes a threshold to cross to access our garden.

The arch must fit consistently into an existing fence and vice versa. A metal arch would inevitably end up clashing as an opening on a wooden fence.

It all depends on how the arch will look once the climbing plant has covered it, of course, but there is a period of which to take into account and which advises carefully matching the arch to the fence.

In the presence of a hedge, the matching becomes easier because hedges can complement metal arches equally well as wooden arches.

In the presence of a hedge, if anything, the consistency of the vines with the hedge itself will need to be assessed.

Climber arches can, finally, be installed one behind the other to create a romantic tunnel.

Very few gardens will probably be able to afford to create such a structure, but the dramatic effect is certainly impressive.