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Colorful Planting Around a Garden Arbor

By: Jim Childs
Add interest to a garden pathway with this colorful planting around an arbor.

gp-e-make-entrance-pv: Illustration by Carlie Hamilton.

Add plants around your arbor

If you’ve ever seen a structure set in a lawn without a few plants around it, you know how lonely it can look. It needs the plantings to tie it to the rest of the garden. This arbor is a transition separating one area of the garden from another. A gently winding path, as well as beds filled with interesting and colorful plants, encourage folks to slow down and enjoy the journey.

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Tips for planting around a garden arbor:

  • Place a single juniper near the arbor to make sure the structure has an interesting companion, even in the dead of winter.
  • Use a container to add importance to a plant. Repeat one of the New Zealand flax from the garden and elevate it in a tall container. Even though it’s smaller, it’s sure to be noticed before the ones in the ground.
  • Beds on both sides of the path add balance because many of the same plants are used in both. The beds don’t have to look exactly the same, just repeat some of the same colors, shapes and textures.
  • For an informal look, instead of short in front and tall in back, plant some of the taller plants, like the salvia, at the edge of the bed.
  • Edge the path with sections of cut stone to keep the gravel from creeping into the planted areas.

inviting-entrance-labeled-overhead-gardn-plan: Beds on both sides of the path create balance because many of the same plants are used in both.

Meet the plants in this garden plan

Check out the lettered plan above and see the corresponding plant information in the slideshow below to find out which plants make an arbor feel like a part of the garden!

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Published: Feb. 19, 2019
Updated: Sept. 28, 2023

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