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Simple metal arch with David Austin Rose St. Swithun

David Austin Rose “St. Swithun”

There are occasions when, in a garden,  an arch  can look very forced, unnatural or contrived. An arch in the middle of a lawn or an elaborate gazebo pushed into a tiny area of a garden tends to looks all wrong.

The style of the arch should prepare the garden visitor for the style of garden he or she is about to enter. A modern steel angular arch would look well as an entrance to a contemporary styled garden. A living willow arch would set the tone nicely when entering a wildlife garden.  A painted timber trellis arch with a climbing rose would be ideal for an entrance to a garden with a romantic theme.


Where to place an arch?

When designing  a garden, I feel, that an arch is best placed at the entrance to the garden, the entrance to a different area of a garden or at intervals along a footpath where it is possible to walk under flowering climbing plants.

A simple arch with a good combination of climbing plants, or a single type of plant looks really well. Avoid planting too many climbers on the one arch. Take for example,  Passiflora (Passion Flower) and Clematis together on an arch. Two fast growing vigorous climbers. It will look messy and tangled after a few years. The true value of both plants will not be fully realised.

Climbing Plants to try on an Arch:


– David Austin “St. Swithun” (Soft pink flowers, see photo)

– Rosa “New Dawn” (Partners well with Honeysuckle)



– “Perle D’Azur” (Early, large purple flowers)

-“Margot Koster” (Bright cerise flowers, it would contrast well with a pale peach rose)



The common Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum) can be too vigorous for an arch. So try Lonicera x heckrottii, it will still need training, but the fragrant flowers and reddish purple young leaves will be worth it.


Formal Rose Garden With Arch




Posted on 20th June 2017

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