You can never have enough arbors can you? Arbors are the perfect portals for gardens. They define the entrance, create a vertical element of interest, and just look pretty neat! Today I put together a very simple gateway arbor as an entrance to the shade garden I’ve built for Lowe’s Creative Ideas. My last arbor used gutters to create planters but this arbor’s purpose is to define the entrance to the shade garden. It will also serve as a way to string a coated wire line around the perimeter of the garden to prevent deer from eating my hostas! The arbor is very simply constructed and from start to finish could easily be done in a single day of work. In fact you probably could build several of these in that same day.
I dug the post holes yesterday. They weren’t too hard to dig back in the shady and humus rich soil of the back part of our yard. Our yard is an anomaly in the mostly clay and limestone filled Tennessee landscapes!
Putting in the arbor was a simple job. I used two 4×4 post pieces and two pieces of decking cut to 78 inches for the top cross pieces (the posts are set 64 inches apart which allows for a 6″ overhang on either side of the posts). To connect the top crosspieces I opted for a heavy duty screw that is normally used to attach a ledger board to a house for decking. These bolts/screws worked perfectly for this arbor and look pretty classy all coated black
Once I pieced it all together on the ground and placed some gravel in the post holes I raised the arbor upright into its location. I made a slight adjustment to the gravel in one hole and checked for level several times before securing it.
To secure the arbor I placed two sawhorses nearby and clamped two pieces of decking to either side of the arbor. The decking was resting on the sawhorses and should remain in a fixed location until the concrete can cure.
The decking was reclaimed wood from an old deck but the screws, posts, and concrete all came from Lowe’s in Spring Hill, TN. While I was at the store to get the screws I happened across two plants that had to come home with me! One of which will go into this shade garden. ‘American Hero’ Hosta has thick leaves and a nice variegation. Thicker leaves are usually more resistant to slugs. The flowers are fragrant too.
My other find was this echinacea. It’s called Sombrero Red Coral. I think you can see why! The blooms are a spectacular orange that changes to red.
The perimeter wire line fence still needs done but the arbor gives it a good start! So far the deer have left the hostas alone without the fence so maybe my planting strategy if mixing deer resistant plants with the hostas is working!