California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

Rose Arbor

Before starting construction on your rose arbor it is important to know how big your rose might get. Rose arbor construction can start with a lightweight structure connected to a wall for some of the smaller roses. For the larger roses a more substantial arbor should be built. Our experience with the Belle of Portugal Rose collapsing our rose arbor several times was a lesson in how large a rose can actually become.

On this property we have made a series of copper arches. They are 8 feet tall and are made of copper pipe that has been bent into the shape of an arch. there are 3 strands of copper that run the length of the arch and every 18" or so there is a tee joint that connects the three strands together. Near the base the arms of the tees are each a foot long at the top the arms are 6" long.

The copper arches were constructed over a plywood frame so they would each be consistent in size and shape. Lights were hung from the middle span of each arch. Subsequently Cecil Brunner Roses, Chocolate Vines, and Evergreen Clematis Vines have been supported by the copper arches.

Postscript . . . I would have placed the bottom part of each leg in a small bucket of concrete. The weight of the vines has been difficult at best, and at times catastrophic. Several of the arches have been reinforced.

We wanted a unique rose arbor and similar supports for other vines. A prefab rose arbor would not do. Redwood had become too expensive and carried too much visual weight. Economic realities drove the need for rethinking the plan as it often does. Now that a new rose arbors have been constructed the property is much more interesting for the unique look that can be provided by the bent copper rose arbors. The rose covered arbor contrasts with the new growth of a Japanese maple above and Coreopsis below.

Image of Rose Arbor