This guide will show you 31 backyard arbor designs and ideas sure to get you thinking about adding an arbor to your garden after the winter!
Welcome to our gallery highlighting the beauty and versatility of arbors in backyard gardens.
Often confused with pergolas, trellises, and even gazebos, arbors are closely related, incorporating elements of several other structures.
By definition, an arbor incorporates a trellis into its structure to create a tunnel-like passageway into another area of the yard or garden. They can be freestanding or connected to another structure, like a fence.
Arbors tend to have lattice work throughout, creating an effective climbing wall for climbing flower and vines. Arbors are typically arched, but they may also resemble pergolas, as the above arbor does.
So why add an arbor to your garden or backyard? While they may seem a little pointless, with the right vision and proper placement, arbors can be used to direct traffic throughout any landscaping. With the proper climbing vines and flowers, they can be a spectacular and fragrant structure.
While we tend to think of arbors as backyard structures, they can also make an excellent impression in the front yard, when combined with a security gate.
Materials and Cost
Arbors can be made from anything from pine to redwood, stone or stucco, or even metal; anything that may reflect your home’s unique architecture and style.
The most affordable of these materials is a prefabricated metal kit or a simple white vinyl, which are low maintenance and long-lasting. Cedar wood isn’t a bad choice either, but it will require more care than vinyl or metal.
So how much can you expect to pay? Well, arbors can vary widely depending on whether they’re prefabricated or custom, what material you choose, the size, and the design.
Custom wooden arbors should be built by a licensed contractor, and will be on the costly side. Expect to pay $2,000 – $4,000 for a basic wood model, $5,000 – $10,000 for a mid-range wood model, and as high as $15,000 for a high-end wooden arbor. (Source: Landscaping Network)
Prefabricated arbors are much less expensive, but you have fewer options. Of course, if you can find the right one with the design you want, this is an amazing budget-buster. Like with custom, material and size will effect the cost of the arbor.
Expect to pay between $600 – $800 for a large vinyl kit for an entryway arbor, while a cedar arbor kit of the same size will cost more like $300 – $600. An iron prefabricated fence is the most expensive, coming in at $600-$1,000. (Source: Landscaping Network)
Backyard models seem to be a tad more narrow than entryway arbors, although they can certainly be mixed and matched depending on your needs. For vinyl, expect to pay $200 – $350; $150 – $400 for a cedar wood kit, and $90 – $500 for an iron kit. (Source: Landscaping Network)
If you’d prefer an arbor with a double gate, a metal model will run you $150 – $550.
For budget-conscious buyers, prefabricated kits are definitely the way to go, but if you’re looking for a more luxurious look, custom is still an option.
If you’re still not sure an arbor is for you, check out our definitive backyard guide to find different options.
We hope this gallery will help you define exactly the kind of arbor you want!
This classic white wooden arbor is tucked neatly into a lush garden, providing a portal to another section of yard. Climbing vines with bold flowers are being trained to cover the structure.
This is a gate arbor in a distinctly Asian style that provides entry into a Japanese Zen garden. An arched “roof” is shaded by lush trees.
This beautiful vine-covered home has two cedar arbors leading into the pool area. The wooden arbors have thick vines trained to grow over them. Right now, we can see the skeletal branches of the plants that aren’t in bloom yet. Source: Zillow Digs™
A thick white wooden arbor with a single gate attached to a modern style decorative fence. The sunburst design on the gate is gorgeous.
The incredibly ornate arbor has standard lattice sides, but the top has a decidedly more ornate, yet quaint, cottage feel.
A simple aged trellis with a flat pergola top is equipped with benches, which is an option for custom builds. If you prefer an aged look like this one, you shouldn’t power wash your structure too often, so the wood gets a soft moss stain.
This vinyl arbor sits on a concrete base and acts as a portal under an enormous hedge. The design is fairly plain, since most of the arbor is hidden by the branches.
Arbors don’t necessarily have to be a thick portal either, as these show. Simple arbors can be made up of 2x4s, which more easily become part of the landscape. Placing multiple arbors helps create a tunnel-like effect on a garden pathway. Source: Zillow Digs™
This delicate arbor is partially covered in climbing vines and is connected to a small fence-like section on either side.
A tropical garden with bold flowers and totally overgrown arched arbors creating a fantastic tunnel.
A wooden arbor with a curved top and attached to a tall privacy fence with lattice detailing. This acts as an entrance into the fenced-off garden.
A simple wooden pergola-topped gated arbor with fence sections on either side. This arbor is great for any backyard, particularly for homes that have an Asian flair. Learn more here.
An entryway arbor that rests over the top of a concrete pathway leading through the front yard and up to the small porch.
A simple cedar arbor with an attached screen on either side that are fully covered in vines. The shrubs are paired with simple containers filled with flowers.
This freestanding arbor is wide and contains both a regular bench and a swinging bench. This is more of a solid structure, sort of a mix between a traditional arbor and a gazebo. Learn more here.
This simple wooden arbor rests at the entrance to a backyard patio to one side of a shed. The patio is squared off by a simple picket fence.
This is a unique patched together ensemble of a picket fence, a wooden gate, and an iron arbor trailed with climbing roses.
This is a more modern example of an arbor, with a non-traditional lattice pattern. Wooden steps lead up to the arbor before transitioning into soft, thick grass. Learn more here.
An ultra-wide arbor with a simple lattice pattern in wire. The climbing vines are necessary to really flesh out this design.
This wide arbor has a pergola top that is nearly invisible under the thick Wisteria along the top. A picket fence surrounds a small lookout and picnic area that has a gorgeous view.
A more unique metal arbor with decorative ends at the top. The lattice is small and separated, which might not be best for trailing vines or flowers. Learn more here.
A simple metal arbor blends neatly into the thick foliage along this brick walkway.
This is an incredible custom built rustic arbor with sunburst details made out of branches. The construction is so unique, no flowers are needed to beautify.
This simple arbor has small cedar flower boxes at the base of each side. The classic lattice is perfect for nearly any style of home. Learn more here.
This thicker, sturdier version is custom made to support any number of plants and withstand the burdens of time and weather.
This is a non-traditional arbor created as a simple arch in a hedge, with only a gate as the structure.
This row of metal arbors are trailed with beautiful roses alternating between magenta and a soft ivory.
This incredibly simple prefabricated metal arbor is pointed at the top, much like a lamp. The design is easy to implement. Learn more here.
An arbor marks the entrance to the deck from the backyard, and the whole of the deck is swathed in lovely, fragrant flowering vines.
A unique arbor in a circular design with a foliage motif as the lattice. These would look fantastic as the beginning of a green tunnel. Learn more here.
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