Garden Structure Ideas

Garden structures for climbing plants add the dimension of height to the home garden. They draw the eye upward and create more growing space--vertically. Use a garden structure to support flowering vines, fruits, vegetables or vines grown primarily for their foliage, such as ivy.


As simple as a piece of lattice attached to the side of a building or ornamental enough to fit in a traditional formal garden, trellises are most often attached to a building or fence, but can also be free-standing. Vining plants are planted directly in front of the trellis and trained to climb upon it. They can be fashioned out of wood, bamboo, wrought iron or plastic PVC pipes.


A pergola is a structure that creates and artificial outdoor “room” and provides shade in the garden when the plant materials climbing upon it mature. It consists of a series of upright posts that support a horizontal piece of lattice. Vining plants are planted near the base of each post. The plants first climb the posts and then cover the horizontal lattice “roof,” providing shade to the area beneath it. Gardeners often use the shade it creates as a sitting area. Pergolas are almost always constructed using pressure-treated wood.


Primarily used to frame the entrance to a fenced yard or garden, an arbor consists of lattice side panels, or uprights, and most often an arched top that joins the two uprights, creating a “doorway.” Flowering vines are planted near each side panel to climb up and over the center arch. Made primarily of pressure-treated wood, redwood or cedar, arbors are commonly used at the entrance to cottage or formal gardens.

Keywords: garden structure ideas, garden trellises, garden pergolas, garden arbors

About this Author

Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a freelance writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.