By: Garden Gate staff
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Arbor secrets pros know
What garden structure can hold a vine, frame a view, create an entrance. . . and more? An arbor! This versatile structure adds a lot to a garden — why not find the perfect spot for one right now? We’ll show you three ways to make an arbor look its best, then it’s up to you!
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Mark an entrance
Here’s a classic use for an arbor. When you see an arbor surrounded by a gate, you automatically know where to go.
To mark an important transition, choose an arbor that will really catch your eye. The height and bulk of this tall arbor would make it noticeable no matter what. And the pale cream paint against the green background definitely allows it to stand out!
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Create a vertical accent
A unique structure like this is a focal point from different angles, giving a sense of orientation in the yard.
You may decide not to grow vines on a showcase arbor like this — you want to be able to see the architectural features. But plant shrubs near the base or small trees nearby to keep the arbor visually “anchored” in your garden. Plantings right at the base should be about one-third the height of the arbor — that’ll help it feel grounded, but won’t cover up too much detail.
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Frame it up
Use an arbor to frame a view. The path in the photo leads your eye through the arbor to the bench and the white birches in the distance. This framed view beckons you into the garden. The soft gray-green paint keeps your eye focused on the scene in the distance, not the arbor itself.
Use this technique to show off a special container, a specimen plant or a gorgeous garden feature like a fountain or obelisk. Think about where you’ll catch a glimpse of this view. Are you giving passersby a peek into your beautiful garden? Or is it an angle that allows you to admire it from your deck or patio? Either way, you’ll enjoy the living picture you create with an arbor for a frame.