Friday, January 18, 2008

More Bower and Pergola Chat

Nan over at Gardening Gone Wild was talking about a Arch Arbor which brought to mind our Arch Arbor. So this is how our Wooden Arch Arbor came to be. Several years ago we put this cedar screen at the end of our patio. I wanted to stop your eyes from seeing all the garden on this side when you looked out this way from the patio and I wanted to stop people from looking at us as we are seated on our patio when they drive by. This is how it looked when I first put it in. This is one of those trellises that you are supposed to mount on a wall. I wanted it to be the wall so I drove some of those metal fence posts in the ground at the appropriate places and wired the trellis to them. From the patio side you could never see those stakes and now the Lonicera and Clematis that grow on this trellis have made a wall in itself. No one has ever mentioned the stakes so they are well hidden. After I got this up I decided I wanted to guide people from our back door into the garden through a nice arch that matched the trellis. I had been pining over a nice wooden arch arbor for some time . I came up with this scheme when finally my Dearly Beloved had had enough of the whining, I mean pining. You see I kept telling him I could build one if if could figure out how to calculate the arch. Well, he told me to just give him the dimensions and he would figure it out for me and by golly he did.

Not only is he good at math he can wield a post hole digger like a professional. You can see that he had the proper supervision, our past gardening companion Mishka. Mishka always liked to be in the middle of the action.
As you can imagine I was shocked at the cost of the cedar but it had to match the screen at the end of the patio since they are nearly side by side.

The sides of the arch were made to look like the panel that is at the end of the patio. We added the side trellis after we got it put together. I don't know if it would have been easier to put it all together at once but I can tell you this. It was heavy and awkward to jostle into place as it was.

I have threatened to make a couple more of the arches. I could make 3 of them out of treated lumber for what we paid for the cedar to make this one. The cost of cedar is outrageous here. Redwood is even more expensive.

Having several other wooden arch arbors is another of those 'winter dreaming' schemes.

This all looks so much different now that the plants have settled in.

The Lonicera is so thick that nothing will grow on the back side of the screen. I have planted a climbing hydrangea at the sunny side of the arch but it is taking its time growing up the arch. I got so impatient with the hydrangea that I planted a jackamanii clematis with it to have a little color while the hydrangea moseys up the arch. Below you can see how it looked this past spring. I think I have shown this photo before but it is one of my favs because I like to look out my back door and see this lonicera strewing its petals on the patio. Sometimes it looks like someone frosted this area with orange frosting.
You can see that the Climbing Hydrangea is still sitting low on the arch arbor. It has sat there for about 4 years. I am normally a patient person regarding the garden but this thing is testing me. I have read many times that these climbing hydrangeas just grow and take over...well I am still waiting with my Felcos poised to try to tame my dreams.


  1. I am really enjoying your stories of the arbors, bower and trellis. It pays to have good records like you have to show the development of the plants and the graying of the wood. Keep 'em comin'

    Frances at Faire Garden

  2. Your garden with the arbors and bower looks great (new words for me!!)

  3. Lisa, you are inspiring me, here. Arbors and trellis' really do enhance the atmosphere don't they? Plus, they provide more room to grow things. Great post!

  4. Your garden is so beautiful & I love the cedar screen & arbour.

  5. Wow, it's so pretty Lisa. The hummingbirds must love your backyard in the summer.

  6. I love your arbors! Cedar is my favorite!

    You spoke of screening your garden from outside eyes, and I thought I would pass this tidbit to you.

    To stop the eye, paint the wood white, or a reflective color. Darker colors invite you into a space, but the scene just stops at the white fence.

    Check it out. I know you wouldn't want to paint your beautiful (and dear) cedar, but with other, less perfect woods or metal, white is a good choice.

  7. I really love that arch. You are so creative. I hope your climbing hydrangea grows like a weed this season.

  8. Pining for a nice wooden arbour eh? I know the feeling. ;-) The climbing hydrangea is a slow starter, a very
    s l o w (snore) starter, but once it gets doing, get those felcro's out girl! ;-)

    Have a great weekend!

  9. Yolanda Elizabet is right, Climbing Hydrangea takes a long time to get going. I think my mom's plant didn't start taking off until it was about 8 years' old. Now, it's the beast that ate the courtyard & is a popular nesting site. Did you just plunk your arbor into the ground, or did you cement it in? It's lovely. You should build a few more - & sell them on E-bay.

  10. It is cold and windy outside and I have been enjoying your post with so many beautiful flowers! Nice to see your gardens as they "grew".
    Arbors are nice for growing up. Yours looks so pretty. The natural woods are better for the enviroment too.

  11. More lovely inspiration. Your pergola is just as pretty as your bower, Lisa. I am very impressed that you and your DH built these projects out of your own heads.

  12. My goodness. The arbors keep going and going and going. Lovely!

    --Robin (Bumblebee)

  13. Lisa, your arbor is beautiful. I love the honeysuckle with the irises and aquilegia. I'm thinking of putting an arbor at the other entrance into my garden. I have been thinking about growing honeysuckle on it. Looking at your pictures, I definately will.

    Heirloom Gardener

  14. A lot of work very well done, Lisa.

    (I hope you were able to move out from in under that little gray cloud of misfortune that hung over your head yesterday.)

  15. Thanks Frances, one last arbor and that will be it.

    Yes Mary, I like the way arbors invite you into the garden. I like to walk under things in the garden whether it is tree limbs or arbors. I think they make me feel like a "little" girl.

    Ruthie not only do the hummers like the lonicera I have pictures of a Baltimore Oriole slurping up the nectar.

    Thanks for the tip Janie.

    I will be hoping that the Hydrangea grows like a weed this year too Curtis.

    Yolanda, my Felcos are oiled and sharpened...ready.

    MrMcD, we did put a little concrete around the base. The thing is so tall and "if" the climbing hydrangea gets up on top I knew it would need to be solid for when the winds whip through here.

    Thanks Marvin. Yes, all is better here. I am sorry I vented on your comment page. Your wonderful pictures and especially the clever captions obviously struck a chord. that day.

    I want to thank everyone for their kind comments.

  16. You two make a superb design-construction team. May I ask how you created the curved top? That looks like a pretty advanced piece of woodworking!

    I'll be sure to add links to both this post and your previous one in the wrap-up for this month's Garden Bloggers' Design Workshop.

  17. Hi there, Lisa :-)

    I love the design of your arch - what a beautiful curve it has on top. It really draws your in to want to walk through it :-D

    I love the journal notes and photos too :-D


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