How to Build a Garden Arbor

Growing grapes or trailing flowers is so rewarding when they can be trained to grow up and over a garden arbor.

Garden arbor painted whiteGarden arbor painted white
The options are limitless and arbors can be quite decorative when you start looking around at your options. If you want to tackle building your own, using simple lumber and normal household tools, you should be able to complete this arbor in two days.

Dig two placement holes, 2 feet deep and 4 feet apart at the center for one side of your arbor. The holes will be close to 2 feet wide when have finished digging them. Do the same for the other side, 6 feet apart from the other side. Make sure they are all exactly the same depth.

Place a couple inches of gravel into each of the holes. Set the 9-foot, 4 inch by 4 inch pressure treated lumber into each of the holes. Measure diagonally from corner to corner to make sure your arbor will be square. Add a few more inches of gravel around the posts.

Mix the concrete according to the directions and pour two bags into each hole. Level the posts and fill in the remainder of the hole with the dirt previously removed. Allow the concrete to dry for at least 24 hours.

Lay one 6-foot, 2 inch by 6 inch pressure treated board over the two posts on one side. Center it and screw into place with deck screws. Do the same for the other side. This will be the base for your lattice work on top of the arbor.

Lay the first 6-foot, 2 inch by 4 inch pressure treated lumber flat, 6 inches from the farthest edge of the 2x6 board. Screw it into place with deck screws. Measure 4 inches and screw in the next 2 inch by 4 inch pressure treated board in the same way. Continue with the rest of the 2x4s until the top is covered.

Attach the three 54-inch, 1 inch by 2 inch slats to either side at 30 inches, 42 inches and 54 inches up from the ground, using the deck screws, centering each one between the 4x4 posts. Your arbor is now ready for use.

Things You Will Need

  • Shovel 8 50-lb bags of concrete 4 50-lb bags of gravel 4-foot level Measuring tape 9 6-foot, 2 inch by 4 inch pressure treated lumber 4 9-foot, 4 inch by 4 inch pressure treated lumber 2 6-foot, 2 inch by 6 inch pressure treated lumber 6 54-inch, 1 inch by 2 inch slats pressure treated lumber Box of 3-inch deck screws Power drill Ladder (6 foot)

Tip

  • A decorative lattice panel can be added to the sides, if you wish, for further shading.

About the Author

Maryland resident Heide Braley is a professional writer who contributes to a variety of websites. She has focused more than 10 years of research on botanical and garden articles and was awarded a membership to the Society of Professional Journalists. Braley has studied at Pennsylvania State University and Villanova University.