Many people say that a garden trellis and a garden arbor are the same thing, and they are often advertised on the same page on many garden sites. But are they the same? No, they are not. They do have similarities, but a garden arbor has many more uses than a trellis. They both come in wood, vinyl or metal as well. So what's the difference between a garden arbor and a garden trellis and which material is the best choice for your landscape?
The sole purpose of a garden trellis (see our garden trellises) is to support climbing plants, such as vines or climbing roses. Although many designs are available for trellises, a trellis is not opened in the middle like an arbor, you cannot go from one side to the other unless you go around it. There are models that also include a planting box for your flowers. The flower box helps keep the climbing plants under control and they are trained to go up the trellis without spreading too wide. Other trellises are standalone, you can secure them into the ground and place it anywhere you like in your garden or let it rest against a wall or fence.
Depending on the plants you want to use, your trellis should be tall and wide enough to accommodate these plants when they are fully grown. It's very important that your plants have good support so they can grow healthy and strong and as tall as they are meant to grow. A trellis will train your climbing vines/grapevines or flowers to grow in the same direction rather than all over the place. A trellis is a must for all climbing plants.
A garden arbor has many uses. Because you can walk through it, an arbor, also commonly called a garden arch, usually serves to enter an area of your landscape: it can be used to add style to the entrance of your home, it can be used to enter your garden area, or just simply in the backyard to add elegance to your surroundings. Normally an arbor that is used to frame the pathway to your home doesn't support any type of climbing plants for the simple reason that you don't need to fight the plants (and the bugs!) to go through the arbor to get to your door. People usually choose a wood arbor for this purpose and will often add gates and sometimes wings (these are options with all arbors). They look much nicer than a fence, are low maintenance to maintenance-free, and will last much longer.
Like the trellis, a garden arbor can also have a planting box, and will usually have one on each side of the arbor.
Choosing the right garden arbor will depend on more than just personal preference for its looks or design. You need to identify the reason you want a garden arbor, its purpose, and its location once you get it home.
Vinyl is maintenance-free, is usually sold in white (sometimes green), will not rust, all you need to do is spray it with the garden hose every now and then to keep it clean. There is no need to paint it, treat it or stain it. You buy it, you get it delivered, you put it where you want it and just leave it and it will last for many, many years. See our vinyl arbors.
Wood is also maintenance free for the most part, you can paint it, or stain it to keep the original color of the wood, or depending on the type of wood, if left untouched the wood may age to a nice shade of grey. If you paint it, you will probably need to touch it up every few years to keep it looking new and elegant. See our wood arbors.
Metal is maintenance free. Just like vinyl, there is no need to do anything to it and you just spray it with the garden hose to keep it clean. See our metal arbors.
All rights reserved - Exquisite-Gardens.com 2004