Arbors allow support for climbing plants, shade the weary gardener in the heat of the day, and can provide an entrance to your secret garden. Garden arbors and pergolas are also the perfect backdrop for picture taking events such as friendly get-togethers. Some plants that will work well with garden arbors are roses, ivy, clematis, grapes, hops and wisteria. If you wish to build a garden arbor for yourself, we have listed below several sites that offer garden arbor plans that will make your garden arbor project easier than starting from scratch. Building a garden arbor can make for a simple weekend project. A garden arbor project can also be a means of quality family time and the arbor is sure to be a place around which memories are made. Most of these free garden arbor plans require minimal woodworking skills. Some power tools may be required to construct a few of the free garden arbor plans listed below.

Arbor Types:

  • Rose Garden Arbor
  • Arch Rose Arbor
  • Simple Garden Arbor
  • Classic Garden Arbor
  • Lattice Arbor
  • Portable Garden Arbor
  • Garden Arbor Plans for Vines and Climbing Plants
  • Shade Arbor
  • Grape Arbor
  • Arched Garden Arbor
  • Pergola Arbor
  • Conversation Nook Garden Arbor


An outdoor garden gazebo is a comfortable place to spend summer afternoons with friends and family. They can be used for outdoor dining in the garden, barbecues, reading and are occasionally a backdrop for wedding ceremonies. A garden gazebo can be lit with rope lighting for enchanting outdoor evening events when the weather is calm. If you decide to build a garden gazebo, listed below are some of the the most detailed free garden gazebo plans available online. You'll find everything from hot tub gazebo plans to the more ornate Victorian gazebo plans. If you are the do-it-yourself type, then you may already have the required tools for these gazebo plans. The majority of these plans will require some skilled woodworking, but if you have the patience, you should have no problem building your gazebo from these plans.

Gazebo Types:

  • Basic Garden Gazebo
  • Hot Tub Gazebo
  • Victorian Gazebo
  • Redwood Gazebo Plans
  • Backyard Gazebo
  • Small & Simple Garden Gazebo
  • Frugal Gazebo


A pergola is an open covering. It can be used to define space for entertaining and provide some amount of shade for windows, increasing energy efficiency. Done well, it can be an attractive architectural feature for your home. What a pergola will not do is provide serious rain cover protection. It´s important to choose a pergola constructed of termite resistant metal or treated wood. You might also hear a pergola referred to as a lattice, arbor, or shade cover. Pergolas often provide support for climbing plants and play an important role in good garden design.

Covered Patio

If rain protection is high on your list of requirements, you need to go at least one step up to a covered patio. This will include a roof of some kind, preferably insulated. Covered patios have infinite design possibilities. They can be framed, include column features, and match the style of your home. They are rising in popularity as people add outdoor kitchens to their porches or screened areas to extend their living space. Materials such as stone, brick and wood add beauty and tranquility to a home, as well as sun and rain protection.


Dynamic and living, a trellis design brings spice and dimension to your landscaping vision.

The Basics:

Trellis design invites climbing vines and roses to grab on and grow. Which trellis design is right for you is a matter of preference. Here's how a few models stand out.

  • The Wall Panel: A flat trellis design to support thick climbing plants. Topped with sweeping arches or fanning out from a slender bottom, wall panels exhibit the classic trellis design.
  • The Obelisk: A three dimensional trellis design for larger yards, the obelisk brings a statuesque feature to your landscaping.
  • The Planter Box: Grow flowers on your deck with this trellis design. The box holds the soil, and a panel or obelisk gives plants a ladder to climb. A beautiful choice for the lawn as well.

Trellis Types:

Copper Trellises
Iron Trellises
Steel Trellises
Vinyl Trellises
Wood Trellises
All Trellises

Arbor/Pergola Construction

Building an Arbor or Pergola:

The terms arbor and pergola are often used interchangeably, but there is a minor distinction between the two. Although both consist of posts supporting an open roof of beams or lattice, an arbor is broader and may be connected to a building on one side. A pergola, on the other hand, is always freestanding and narrow.
Regardless which of these shade-giving structures you choose to build, the technique is the same. This project is best done with two people. As with any permanent structure, consult your local building department first to determine if you will need any variances or permits.
Materials list

  • 6-by-6 posts
  • One post base and anchor bolt for each post (if you are affixing to concrete) or one precast concrete pier with post base, plus concrete mix (if building on soil)
  • Galvanized nails
  • One 1/2-by-10" lag bolt with washer per post
  • Two 1/2-by-7" lag bolt with washers per beam
  • Braces and wooden stakes
  • Two 6-by-6 beams
  • 4-by-4 rafters
  1. Fasten each post base to the concrete with an anchor bolt (if building on the ground, dig a post hole, fill the hole with concrete, and position the top of the precast pier 3 to 4 inches above grade level). Cut the posts to length if necessary. Nail the posts to the post bases.
  2. Use a level on two adjacent sides to check that each post is vertical. Secure each post in position with temporary braces nailed to wooden stakes driven into the ground.
  3. With a helper, position a beam on top of each post. Check that the posts are still vertical and the beam is level. Use a 7/16-inch bit to drill a 9-inch-deep hole down through the beam into each post. With a wrench, install a 10-inch lag bolt into the hole. Repeat for the other beams.
  4. Set and space the rafters on top of the beams. With a 7/16-inch bit, drill 6-inch-deep holes through the rafters and into the beams. Install a 7-inch lag bolt into each hole. For more strength, you can install diagonal bracing between the posts and the beams. For shade, cover the rafters with vines or lath, either 1 by 2s or 2 by 2s.
  5. A cutaway of the final product.


Because it can be heated and cooled, a well-built sunroom can add year round comfort to your home. Also sometimes referred to as an atrium or solarium, sunrooms are an excellent choice for gardeners like Nancy. She´ll be able to grow a wider variety of plants with the climate-controlled light her sunroom will provide. Constructed using energy-efficient windows, sunrooms also allow the benefits of spending time outdoors without the discomfort of high heat and humidity. Sunrooms can even be used to enclose swimming pools, allowing homeowners to get the maximum use out of their investment, no matter the season.

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