Home & Garden

Garden arbour

Author: Canadian Living

Home & Garden

Garden arbour

A pretty latticed arbour is an irresistible invitation to enter a garden. Our easy-assemble version combines standard-size lumber with lumberyard lattice sheets. Bill Higgs of Forest Fence and Deck in Gormley, Ont., designed it for the home handyperson to complete in a weekend. Optional planter boxes were added to the project. Screw them into the arbour sides at the base or, if you're an apartment gardener, make freestanding boxes for your balcony.


Tools and supplies
• Diagrams
• 4 cedar 4x4s, each 10 ft long
• 2 cedar 2x6s, each 6 ft long
• Cedar 2x4s: four 8 ft long, one 6 ft long, one 4 ft long
• 8 cedar 1x1s, each 6 ft long
• Piece of lattice, 34 x 48 in (4- x 8-ft sheets available pre-assembled at lumberyards)
• Thirty-four 3-inch deck screws
• 3-inch and 2-inch galvanized ardox nails
• Measuring tape, stakes, scrap lumber (see Step 1), string, 4-ft or 2-ft level, set square, shovel, wheelbarrow and posthole digger
• Approx eight 30-lb bags of concrete mix
• Circular saw, jigsaw or radial-arm saw with dado blade, hammer, nail set, power driver

Cut list
• 2x6s
2 beams, each 62 inches long
• 2x4s
9 rafters, each 41 inches long
4 braces, each 17 inches long
• 1x1s
8 lattice-frame verticals, each 48 inches long
8 lattice-frame horizontals, each 15-1/2 inches long
• Lattice panels
2 lattices, each 17 x 48 in


Note: Before setting your plans or your posts in concrete, check your local bylaws.

1. Using stakes and string, measure and lay out location of arbour posts (refer to diagrams throughout cutting and assembly). Using posthole digger, dig 36-inches-deep, 8-inches-diameter hole at each location. Set posts in place, checking each with level and bracing with angled lengths of scrap lumber (use 2 lengths for each post as shown in diagram; temporarily tack 1 end to post, other end to stake). Mix concrete following manufacturer's directions. Pour around each post, filling to 2 or 3 inches below ground level. Let set for 24 hours.

2. Start with post set into highest ground. Measure and mark it 6 ft 8-1/2 inches up from ground level; using circular saw, cut. Level across to remaining posts, mark and cut. Remove scrap-lumber braces.

3.On each post, measure and mark 12 inches down from top edge. With top edge at marks and using 3-inch nails, nail top brace between each pair of posts. Set nail heads. On each post, measure and mark 48 inches down from bottom edge of each brace. With top edge at marks, install each bottom brace in same manner.

4. Using 2-inch nails at approx 12-inch intervals, nail lattice-frame verticals in place 3/4 inch in from outside edges of posts; between these, nail each horizontal. From inside, set each lattice panel in place against frame. Against lattice, nail on remaining lattice-frame verticals and horizontals.

5.Using circular saw, cut angled bottom corners in front and back beams and rafters. Using jigsaw or radial-arm saw, cut notches in rafters. On level surface, lay beams, top edges up. Set evenly spaced rafters in place; screw rafters to beams to complete roof.

6. Fit beams down and outside posts at front and back to set roof in place. Using 4 screws at each corner, attach beam to post.

Pair of planters

Tools and supplies
&#8226 1 pressure-treated 2x8, 6 ft long
&#8226 2 cedar 2x8s, each 8 ft long
&#8226 2 cedar 2x4s, each 10 ft long
&#8226 3-inch galvanized ardox nails
&#8226 3-inch galvanized finishing nails, for joining caps only
&#8226 Eight 3-inch deck screws (optional)
&#8226 Circular or compound mitre saw
&#8226 Measuring tape, set square and hammer
&#8226 Power driver

Cut list
&#8226 Pressure-treated 2x8
2 bases, each 36 inches long
&#8226 Cedar 2x8s
4 sides, each 36 inches long*
4 ends, each 11 inches long*
*Bevel-cut to 45-degree angle at each end
&#8226 Cedar 2x4s
4 side caps, each 38 inches long*
4 end caps, each 13 inches long*
*Mitre-cut to 45-degree angle at each end

Instructions (for each)

1. Hammering 3 or 4 nails from each direction along edge, nail together bevelled ends and sides.

2. Set assembled ends and sides upside down with all corners perpendicular. Leaving gap between base and each side edge for drainage, nail centred base to ends. (Note: If planter will be placed on hard surface, cut base 33 inches long, then recess 1 inch up inside planter and nail ends to base.)

3. Set planter right side up and nail centred cap along each edge.

4. If desired, screw planter to arbour, using 2 screws at each post.

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Home & Garden

Garden arbour