Updated: March 2019
Garden Arch Buying Guide
Why Buy A Garden Arch?
A simple garden structure, yet an archway can be so versatile. An arch adds height to a flat garden and when covered with roses, honeysuckle or other climbers provides a long-lasting fragrance every time you pass. Even in limited spaces, an archway can suggest that you are entering a new and special place.
A well placed arch can also divide a area which can make it more interesting. Also, consider screening off utilities such as dustbins, a shed or the washing line but provide a garden arch as the access point to add interest. Wooden arches for gardens are ideal here as they will blend in nicely with wooden panel fences and screening.
Arches are one of the most romantic elements that can be introduced into any garden. They actually have no real practical use beyond acting as a support for climbing plants, but the difference that even a modest arch can make to your outside space can be quite dramatic.
A Wooden Garden Arch or a Metal Garden Arch?
Garden archways come in two basic types - metal garden arches and wooden garden arches. A wooden garden arch is generally favoured by those seeking a more natural looking product, maybe for a cottage rose garden. A contemporary metal garden arch on the other hand is perhaps more suited to an urban ourdoor space of a modern property. Extra wide garden arches are available in both the metal and wooden varieties.
Metal Garden Arches
Cast iron has been used for outdoor structures for over 200 years, but most modern metal garden arches are made from lighter steel or aluminium - strong enough to carry climbing plants yet easy to fix into the soil.
A metallic garden arch has a more contemporary look and is well suited to an urban garden in a modern property. Most metal arches are painted black, dark green or even white, while some have an antique bronze finish or just plain steel (but galvanised for protection) which you can paint to suit your circumstances - old English white, forest green, hot pink if you wish!
More ornate and decorative metal arches tend to be made from lightweight aluminium. Gothic metal arches have more pointed top as opposed to the regular curved appearance, but each is attractive in it's own way.
See all currently available Metal Garden Arches
Wooden Garden Arches
While most timber arches are usually supplied in a natural finish, some are coloured green to blend in better with plants and foliage. Timber garden arches are usually pressure-treated against fungal rot and other problems. Some manufacturers guarantee their wooden garden arches for up to 15 years.
Of course, staining and painting is perfectly possible and for some situations applying a coat of paint in a "heritage" colour can work wonders. A coloured timber garden arch will be particularly attractive in winter when many of the flowers have died away and the garden may be looking a little bare. Some wood garden arches come with planters that sit either side of the arch.
Trellis panels often feature on the top or sides of a wooden garden archway to aid climbing plants, and can also cast attractive shadows on a nice sunny day. Rounded larch poles give wooden garden arches a more rustic appearance, while other arches might be more simply constructed from straight, rough-cut overhead rafters supported on solid timber uprights, giving a rather squared off, even oriental appearance. Wooden extra wide garden arches tend to be of this design.
See all currently available Wooden Garden Arches
Like garden arches, arbours are available in a variety of different styles, such as modern, rustic and even oriental. Wooden arbours tend to be more enclosed - ideal for British summers - and usually feature latticework or trellis side panels.
Some garden arbours are available in steel and are usually painted black and often have ornate designs on the side panels. Some manufactures design arbours to co-ordinate with their wooden arches for gardens so you can have a matching set!
See all currently available Garden Arbours
More info: How to fix your arch or about in the ground