Today, we’re going to look at garden arbors, and the first question you’re probably going to ask is, “what is the difference between arbors and pergolas?”
We know – it can be somewhat confusing, especially as both are usually built around some form of trellis affair, so that you can grow climbing plants.
So, here’s the basic difference, although we should warn you – it’s a bit subtle.
An arbor is normally a gateway or passageway, or maybe a spot with a single bench for protection from the elements, and it often indicates a sense of arrival – a bit like a threshold or doorway in a building.
A pergola, on the other hand, is typically a larger space – more like a shelter for a picnic table or on a patio or deck where people can get together in the outdoors.
So, as usual, we have a variety of arbors for you to look at, so that you can get a feel for the different styles, and their possible uses.
Let’s start with the one shown above. This arbor, the Red Cedar Canterbury Arbor, has, as you can see, a gate, and it also has two wings, so that, by the time you let the plants or vines grow all over it, you’ll have a really great-looking and enchanting entrance to your garden.
As we said above, arbors can also be used as passageways – sort of like transitions from one part of your garden to the next.
As such, these are usually simple affairs, and can either be arched, as is the case with the Red Cedar Mayflower Arbor shown to the left, or square, as with the Renoir’s Red Cedar Arbor, shown below, centre and right, in both natural and white colours.
|Red Cedar Mayflower Arbor||Renoir’s Red Cedar Arbor||Renoir’s Red Cedar Arbor (White)|
In either case, they are designed to allow plants or vines to climb all over them, although they do offer a very small amount of protection from the elements too.
Finally, we come to the “fun” arbors, as all of these are designed not only as a trellis on which to grow your plants, but also to hold a swing seat too (although note that the swings on all three of these models are optional extras).
The first one shown, to the left, is the Springfield Arbor, which is made from treated pine.
If you don’t opt for the swing seat (although we’d find that hard to resist ourselves), then you’ll have a generous 62 inch wide archway to walk through.
The exterior width is 72 inches, and the whole structure is 82 inches high.
It comes partially assembled, which of course means that you will need to do some assembly yourself too.
But don’t worry – we’ve looked over the assembly instructions, and the only thing you need to know is that they do recommend that two adults construct this arbor. Other than that, there are just seven fully-described steps to follow, and then you’ll have your own arbor all set up and ready to go.
Moving on, we have the Imperial Arbor, which is an altogether more grandiose affair and made of treated pine.
It’s a massive 9 feet wide and 6 feet deep, making it large enough to accommodate the optional seat and swing, and you’ll still have room to spare.
Once again, you will need a couple of adults to complete the assembly, but the instructions are very thorough.
Now, if you can’t decide whether you’d like a porch swing or an arbor, then the good news is that you don’t have to – because the Marquis Arbor gives you the best of both worlds (once, as usual, you’ve completed the simply assembly).
Now, we don’t know about you, but our first thought when we see these intimate little swings, where you can hide away from the rest of the world, is how ideal these arbors are for couples (young or old) in love to get some alone time.
So, while we’re talking about love, we’ll leave you with another poem while you contemplate which of these lovely arbors would best grace your garden:
Keeping quiet about their lovers’ tryst
© 2010 Mark S. Farrar
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