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Last updated on October 28th, 2020
Is your garden beautiful but flat, except for a few trees? Do you want to add a more mysterious vibe? Adding a garden arbour or arch will create a vertical structure in your garden while giving a tantalising glimpse into the private space. Visitors will wonder what’s beyond the flower-covered arbour and want to explore.
Both garden arbours and arches have versatile functions. They add vertical interest to an otherwise flat outdoor space, they separate parts of the garden, provide a structure for climbing flowers and vines to grow on and they’re ideal for framing a gateway or garden entrance.
This Best Arbour Arches review presents our top selections of garden arbours and arches. We discuss each product and identify the pros and cons. We also explain why we’re recommending each arbour and who it’s suited for. In addition, we have a comprehensive Buyer’s Guide that explains the features of arbour arches.
Our Best Pick is the Gardman Natural Arch Trellis. If you’re looking for a rustic yet elegant metal garden arch, we highly recommend this one.
The VidaXL Arbour Rose Arch is our Runner-up but it’s also our best pick for a wood arbour arch. Its unusual flat roof makes a rustic-style design statement.
Adding a garden arbour to your outdoor structures and growing plants all over it gives an extra intense riot of colour to your garden.
The Gardman Natural Arch Trellis is our Best Garden Arbour Arch pick. If you are not quite sure about what style arbour you want, this is a good model for you.
This rose arbour fits beautifully in a cottage-style or wildness garden.
Top Arbour Arches Reviews
1. Gardman Natural Arch Trellis
The Gardman Natural Arch Trellis is from a collection of nature-themed garden structures. It’s an arch arbour made of iron to a very high standard. The structure is finished with an aged look for a rustic style. For a complimentary elegant presence, the nature element is reflected in the weaving of delicate birds and flowers around the obelisk. This gives the sides of the arbour an open and airy feel while still giving your climbing plants enough surface to cling to.
The Gardman Trellis is 2.35m high, 1.2m wide and 45cm deep. This is an arbour that’s easy to pass through. As with the other arbours in this review, this one needs solid support to be safe and sturdy. You can sink the legs into the ground, though this reduces the height of the arbour unless you extend the legs. An alternative is to embed each leg in its own concrete pad in the ground. The Gardman garden arch comes with all the fittings you need. However, online reviewers suggest you buy stronger bolts and screws to ensure the stability of the structure but this is personal choice.
- Arched arbour made of iron that has an aged look to its finish for a rustic style.
- Style is nature themed with a delicate design of bird and leaves that adds to its elegance.
- Sides of the arbour are open and airy so your climbing plants have space to grow.
- Dimensions are height of 2.35m, depth of 45cm and width of 1.2m
- Some fixtures were missing or not of needed quality.
- Needs supports and extensions to the legs for stability.
The Gardman Natural Arch Trellis is an arch arbour which combines a rustic finish with an elegant nature design of birds and leaves. This iron arbour is sturdy and strong when you put the legs into the ground or embed them in concrete. We highly recommend the Gardman Natural Arch Trellis if your garden is eclectic with several design styles and you want a metal garden arch for your climbing plants.
We’ve made the Gardman Natural Arch Trellis our Best Pick of Arbour Arches. This arch arbour is a good choice if you don’t want your arbour structure to be highly visible through your rambling flowers.
2. VidaXL Arbour Rose Arch
The VidaXL Arbour Rose Arch is an unusual arch arbour as it has a flat top. This garden arbour is made of wood and definitely gives a rustic feel to any garden. The structure is made from green impregnated pinewood certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council that the wood is environmentally appropriate and socially beneficial.
Pinewood is a softwood so be careful when assembling the arbour as the holes aren’t pre-drilled. The wood is also rot-resistant but you might want to put an extra protective coating on the wood yourself. The pattern of the wood lattice on both sides is made up of squares and the open beams on the roof add to the arbour’s natural look.
The VidaXL Arbour is 2m high, 1.5m wide and 40cm deep. While its height means that most everyone can comfortably walk beneath it, reviewers online report that it is too short to embed in concrete for taller people to walk under comfortably, even when using the included spikes.
- Flat top arbour with lattice on either sides and beams on the roof gives a rustic look.
- Made of green impregnated pinewood that resists rot.
- Dimensions are height of 2m, depth of 50cm and width of 1.5m.
- Perfect for all climbing plants and especially for roses.
- Less expensive than the other arbours in this review.
- Needs support as included spikes aren’t long enough if taller people walk under it.
- Height too low to concrete the arbour into the ground, again for taller people.
- Holes not pre-drilled.
The VidaXL Arbour Rose Arch is made of wood so it’s a good choice if you’re looking for natural products or want to add a rustic structure in your garden. The green impregnated pinewood won’t rot and you’re free to stain or paint it whatever colour, if any, you wish. The flat-top makes this a grape arbour rather than an arch arbour. (See our Buyer’s Guide for a description of the various arbour types.) If this arbour is built to support heavy grapevines, you can feel safe growing heavy climbing roses up its sides.
We’ve made the Vidal Arbour Rose Arch the Runner-up for best garden arch and it’s our top pick for wood arbours.
If you’re looking for a natural arbour with a distinctive shape, and at a budget price, this one could be for you.
3. Rowlinsons Rustic Arch
The Rowlinson’s Rustic Arch lives up to its name as a rustic addition to your garden. This arbour arch is made of pressure-treated natural timber (species unidentified) and the structure has a heavy-duty post-construction. The wood is in a natural finish so you stain or paint it to customize it to match your home or garden.
This is a gabled arbour with a roof that comes to a point in the middle. This creates more visual height vertically and also adds an unexpected design element to your outdoor space. The sloped roof overhangs the sides of the arbour so make sure you have enough room in your garden if you’re placing the arbour near other structures. Online reviewers report that you can widen the arbour by moving the sides out to the edges of the roof which some people may find useful.
The wood trellis on the sides of the arbour is in the traditional diamond pattern that gives an ample surface for the trailing plants to cling to as they grow up the arbour. This Rowlinson’s Rustic Arch is 2.75m high, 1.2m wide (to walk through) and 45cm deep.
Its height gives lots of clearance space for everyone to walk under. You need to anchor the structure into the ground for stability. Unfortunately, reviewers report that they couldn’t find any ground stakes the right side to attach to the legs (none are included). They had to cement the arbour into place.
The Rowlinson’s Rustic Arch adds a back-to-nature feel to your garden.
- Gabled wooden arbour (with an overhang) with a heavy-duty post construction in a rustic design.
- Made of pressure-treated natural timber with rot-resistance so it’ll survive all weathers.
- Natural finish so you can stain or paint it in a colour to match your garden colour scheme.
- Trellis on the sides is a large diamond pattern that’s easy for plants to wind through.
- Dimensions are height of 2.75m, depth of 45cm and width of 1.6m (to outside of the posts) and of 1.2m to walk through.
- Holes for screws not drilled properly so may need to be altered slightly, not a big issue with a little patience.
- Would may develop splits, this is more of a natural occurrence as it dries and shouldn’t affect its durability and robustness.
The Rowlinson’s Rustic Arch is a gabled arch made of wood, though its species is not identified. This is an arbour that may match the roof style of your home. The garden arbour’s natural finish gives you full rein to paint or stain it to match your home, your garden or just to stand out. You’ll need some DIY skills to drill the holes and cut the wood as reviewers online report they’re not always aligned properly.
If you’re looking for an arbour of natural material and rustic design that is beyond the usual arch arbour shape, take a look at this one.
Read next: Top 5 Best garden obelisks
4. Outour French Style 4-Sided Birdcage ArbourNo products found.
The OUTOUR French Style 4-Sided Birdcage Arbour looks exactly like the birdcage promise in its name – with a few more entrances. A birdcage-style arbour is a cross between an arbour and a pergola. (See our Buyer’s Guide for details of each.) As such, there’s enough room inside it for a couple of chairs. Sit surrounded by your flowers for a truly relaxing experience.
This birdcage-style structure is round with four open entrances. Each of the four open sides have two trellis patterns for extra design flare. The roof is domed and with metal arched supports to add to the airy feel. The dome also has an inside hook to place a hanging basket for yet more fragrant flowers. The arbour is made of heavy-duty powder-coated wrought iron pipe. This gives the structure both strength and resistance to weather and rust. The arbour’s dark rust colour lets it blend in with its natural surroundings.
Assembling this birdcage arbour is straightforward according to online reviewers. You do need two people to set it up and be sure to follow the instructions in sequence. Its dimensions are height 2.7m to the top of the dome, width and depth 2m (as it’s circular).
The OUTOUR French Style 4-Sided Birdcage Arbour adds an extra seating area to your garden as well as a place for rambling plants to grow.
- Style is a cross between an arbour and a pergola with room for a couple of chairs underneath.
- Made of heavy-duty powder-coated wrought iron pipe for resistance to weather and rust.
- Birdcage-style structure with four entrances and an open domed roof for a light feel.
- Dark rust colour blends in with the flowers that cover it.
- Dimensions are 2.7m height (to the top of the domed roof) 2m width and 2m depth (it’s circular); entrances are 1m wide and 1.85m high
- Vague instructions but appears easy enough to build.
The OUTOUR French Style 4-Sided Birdcage Arbour contributes highly to the design flare of your garden. If your flowers and plants grow completely over the arbour, it will look as if there’s just a room composed of a riot of colour. On the practical side, the structure is made of powdered-coated iron that defies bad weather and rust.
If a flower-covered relaxing “room” in your garden appeals to you, the OUTOUR French Style 4-Sided Birdcage Arbour might be the answer to your dreams.
No products found.
5. Ruddings Wood Heavy Duty Winchester Garden Arch with Gates
The name of the Ruddings Wood Heavy Duty Winchester Garden Arch with Gates is a bit confusing. The “wood” part doesn’t refer to the material the arbour is made of; it’s part of “Ruddings Wood”, the company’s name. The arbour is actually made of square section steel that’s protected by a powder finish that looks like verdigris.
It may go without saying but the Winchester Garden Arch with Gates is an arch arbour that has an added feature – a low double-door gate. The gate is hinged and opens in the middle when you pull back the bolt fitting. While the gates are more decorative than sturdy, they may serve to persuade pets and small children to not go beyond them. The gates do open fully so you have the whole width of the arbour to walk through.
This arbour is 2.1m high, 1.16m wide and 52cm deep. The two sides and the gates have matching metal scrollwork situated within a pattern of vertical bars. Online reviewers suggest that you coat the structure again to protect it as rust has appeared on the joins of the metal panels. This arbour comes with spikes that are long enough to sit firmly in the ground.
- Arch arbour with a double-door low gate to functionally separate one part of the garden from another.
- Made from 20mm square section steel covered with a verdigris finish powder coating for durability.
- Side panels have scrolled details between two panels of vertical bars for an elegant contemporary feel.
- Gate is hinged and the double doors have a bolt latch for more separation between areas.
- Dimensions are 2.1m high, 52cm deep and 1.16m wide.
- Rust appears in joins fairly quickly.
The Winchester Garden Arch with Gates works well to visually and functionally divide your garden or to create a secret space. The double-door gate is situated at the bottom half of the side panels but doesn’t reach quite to the ground. However, it may serve as a deterrent to pets and kids leaving the garden. Be quite focussed when you install the gates so they are level and open easily.
Consider the Winchester Garden Arch with Gates if your garden plans include an arch arbour that has a little more presence than those without gates. This one makes a strong design statement.
6. Forest Garden Forest Lyon Arbour
The Forest Garden Forest Lyon Arbour is more than a gabled arbour – it’s a space to retreat to and could become your garden sanctuary. This arbour is made of pressure treated wood (species unidentified) that’s certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council as environmentally and socially sustainable. The wood has a significant 15-year warranty against rot.
The Forest Garden arbour looks like a small alcove enclosed on three sides by traditionally styled diamond-pattern wood lattice. Plants cling easily and enthusiastically to this style of trellis and its close weave gives you privacy. The lower half of the back of this structure is, however, formed by the sloped back of the built-in bench. This bench has enough room for two people to sit comfortably. As a practical extra, the seat of the bench flips up to reveal storage space for your outdoor cushions and rugs.
The roof is made of overlapping wood slats that will keep rain out, adding to your restful comfort. As the pressure treated wood comes unfinished, you can paint or stain the arbour to blend into its surroundings or to stand out and make a statement; this also adds to the weather- and rot-proof protection.
The dimensions of this arbour are a height of 2m, width of 1.8m and depth of 67cm.
The Forest Lyon arbour comes flat-packed with lots of pieces. Owners of this arbour have reported online that you need some DIY skills (and tools) to put it up. The manufacturer’s state that it takes three hours for two people to build this structure. But at the end, you have something more than an arch arbour.
- Gabled arbour, rustic style, with a built-in bench so you can sit among your climbing vines.
- Made of pressure treated wood (FSC certified) and comes unpainted so you can customize its colour.
- Bench has a sloped back for your comfort and opens for storage space.
- Seats one or two people with plenty of room.
- Side panels and the upper back part of the arbour are a traditional diamond lattice that’s easy for plants to cling to.
- Dimensions are height of 2m, depth of 67cm and width of 1.8m.
- Comes flat packed with many pieces and unclear instructions.
- Need some DIY skills to assemble this especially as the holes aren’t pre-drilled.
The Forest Garden Forest Lyon Arbour can be your own gabled private sanctuary outdoors. The arbour is made of pressure treated wood in a natural finish for you to unleash your outdoor designer skills on with stain or paint. The built-in bench is both comfortable (sloped back) and practical (storage space) for relaxation. The roof doesn’t let light rain or hot sun through.
The Forest Garden Forest Lyon Arbour could be for you if you want a private outdoor sitting area with a roof and you have some DIY skills (or someone you know does).
Before you purchase a garden arbour arch, there are several decisions to make. Not least of these is where you are going to place the arbour and what climbers and vines you’re going to grow on it if any. However, garden arches come with quite a variety of features to suit any style of garden.
In this section, we present and discus the key features so you make an informed choice for your garden arbour.
Arbour vs trellis vs pergola
We’ve included a brief description of what an arbour is as they are sometimes mixed up with pergolas and trellises.
An arbour is a vertical garden structure usually in the form of an open arch. It provides shelter, privacy and a structure on which to grow climbing plants. Ideally, the plants will cover the sides and top of the arbour to produce a mass of greenery and colour.
Most arbours are freestanding with stakes into the ground but you can attach some arbours to a fence or wall. The sides of an arbour can be completely open or fitted with an airy trellis (usually decorative). With flowers, the walkway through an arbour is fragrant and romantic.
Trellis is a flat lattice on which you grow climbing plants and most people have a true understanding of what they are. You usually fix a trellis to a wall or fence. Plants climb up the trellis in the same way they do on an arbour. The traditional trellis pattern is a diamond, though other patterns are available.
A pergola is an arbour that you walk under or sit beneath. Pergolas can be likened to an open and airy room with an open beam roof. As such, pergolas are often larger than arbours. There’s more of an area for plants to climb on and you can sit in the pergola with the walls and roof covered with sweet-smelling flowers. A pergola is an attractive destination in your garden.
Form vs function
With some other garden structures, what they do is more important than how they look, and vice versa. With a garden arbour, its visual appeal is as important as its role. An arbour is beautiful because of its structure and the rambling flowers over it; it’s practical as it can act as a divider, a growing structure or a privacy fence.
When choosing an arbour for your garden, pick one to match the style of your home and/or the style of your garden. Arbour styles range from truly rustic through to sleek and contemporary. Don’t hesitate to situate the garden arch over a pathway or in your lawn.
Pave the area beneath your arbour if needed to form a gentle pathway though to a section of your garden. If your climbing plants are really high and thick and produce dense shade, grass won’t grow underneath the arbour. Putting paving there is the best option.
Installation of garden arbours generally takes two people. Most garden arbours come with spikes to attach to the posts and fix into the ground. Some users report that they have chosen to place the legs of the arbour into a concrete base, but some garden arches are not suitable for this.
Arbours come in a variety of shapes. Though we focus on arch arbours here, other styles are available:
Arched arbours are the classic shape with two flat sides and a graceful arch overhead. The sides usually contain some form of trellis which may be quite ornate.
Moon gate arbours are semi-circles in the same shape as a ¾ moon. They’re larger than arch arbours so may fill a significant portion of your garden.
Grape arbours have a flat top that’s sturdy enough to support heavy grape vines. They’re usually made of wood with beams across the top.
Gabled arbours have a triangular roof that comes to a point at the top. The tip of the roof is a striking design element if you don’t let your climbing flowers cover it up.
A bench arbour provides its own resting place for you. The built-in bench gives you a fragrant and shady nook to rest and relax in. We have one bench arbour in this review.
Garden arbours come in a wide variety of sizes. They have different heights, depths and widths. The smallest arbours are about 2m high and 1.5m across. Larger arbours have enough space to sit two people. The key here is to carefully measure the amount of space you have for your arbour.
Some of the measurements given by the manufactures are for the outside dimensions of the structure and not the entrance, so be careful. In addition, in arbours with gabled roofs, the roof may extend further than the sides of the arbour.
Arbours are constructed of iron, steel, wood or polymer composite material. All of these can stand up to many kinds of weather. Metal is usually powder coated and wood may have a weather-resistant treatment already on it.
Use rust-resistant fasteners to ensure that the complete structure is durable. To be sure though, consider coating your arbour again yourself to increase its resistance to weather, UV rays, rot, mildew and rust.
Garden arbours are one of a few garden structures that provide visual style as well as function. Whether you choose a rustic or a sleek arbour and whether you use it as a divider, an entry point or as a design statement, arbours and their accompanying flowers and vines are eye catching and envy producing.
Whether you want a natural material for your arbour or prefer the sleek look of metal our two best garden arches have it covered.
The Gardman Natural Arch Trellis is our Best Pick overall and for a metal arbour. It’s both rustic and elegant and with a delicate design of birds and leaves.
Our Runner-up is the VidaXL Arbour Rose Arch. This garden arbour is made of wood and has an unusual flat roof.
If you decide that a garden arbour arch is right for you, check out our selection of articles on how to grow climbing plants and the best plants to grow on a trellis: Top 10 Climbing Plants for Fences and Trellis; Best Climbers for Pots; How to Support and Train Climbing Plants; and How to Plant a Clematis.
Last update on 2021-01-10 at 11:04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API