A great garden arbour
Create a stylish arbour that’s perfect for espaliering a pair of fruit trees.
You will need: 65mm exterior screws, 100mm exterior screws, 4 x fence posts: 100mm x 75mm x 2200mm, 6m of 200mm wide tongue and groove landscaping timber, 16 x 1800mm fence palings, just over 6m of 100mm x 50mm fencing timber, approx. 3.6m of 50mm x 50mm treated timber, approx. 6m of 90mm x 40mm decking, drill with 3mm drill bit, exterior PVA glue, ladder, large clamps, paintbrush, paint stirrer, pencil, Resene Waterborne Woodsman tinted to Resene Cherrywood, sandpaper, saw, screwdriver, set square, spade for levelling ground, spirit level, tape measure.
Handy hints: From the apex of the roof to ground level this structure is approximately 2700mm high, making it suitable for a larger garden. To create a smaller structure, cut the corner fence posts to 2000mm and use 1500mm fence palings for the roof and walls.
For best results position your arbour in a sunny but sheltered spot, protected from strong winds, where the espaliered fruit trees will thrive.
To get the look: Mark planted plums ‘Sultan’ and ‘Burbank’ either side of the arbour to eventually espalier up and over the structure. This combination of varieties is good for pollination.
Here's another idea: Use this basic design to create a frame for a garden shed or even a greenhouse.
Measure and mark the piece of landscaping timber into two 1800mm lengths and two 1200mm lengths.
Cut the landscaping timber to size and smooth any rough edges with sandpaper.
Ensure the intended site is level and clear of any weeds and other plants.
Assemble the pieces of landscaping timber to form a rectangular base, as shown. Use a spirit level to ensure that it’s flat and a set square to make sure corners are at right angles. Use 100mm screws to fix at each corner, drilling pilot holes first.
Clamp an upright fence post in one corner of the base frame, as shown. Check that it’s plumb using a spirit level and then fix to the base frame with 100mm screws, drilling pilot holes first. Repeat with the three remaining fence posts.
Measure, mark and cut the decking into six 950mm lengths with ends cut at 45 degrees, as shown. Smooth rough edges with sandpaper.
Measure, mark and cut six 150mm x 150mm squares of fence paling. Smooth rough edges with sandpaper.
Measure mark and cut three 1200mm lengths from the 50mm x 50mm timber. Smooth rough edges with sandpaper.
Fix two of the lengths of decking together to form an ‘L’ shape with a square of fence paling either side, as shown. Attach with PVA glue and 65mm screws fixed from both sides. Repeat with the remaining lengths of decking and squares of fence paling.
Fix the 1200mm lengths of 50mm x 50mm timber across the base of each ‘L’ shape to form three triangular roof trusses, as shown.
Measure, mark and cut two 1800mm lengths and two 1200mm lengths from the 100mm x 50mm fencing timber. Smooth any rough edges with sandpaper.
Clamp an 1800mm length of 100mm x 50mm fencing timber to the top of two of the upright fence posts (along one side of the arbour) and fix with 100mm screws, drilling pilot holes first. Remove clamps and repeat with the other 1800mm length of timber across the other side of the top of the arbour.
Fix the triangular roof trusses into position, as shown, using 100mm screws. Again, use clamps to ensure each truss is correctly positioned before drilling and screwing.
Clamp one of the 1200mm lengths of 100mm x 50mm fencing timber across the top of the arbour’s front and then drill and fix with 100mm screws. Repeat with the second 1200mm length of timber across the top of the arbour’s back.
Using 65mm screws, fix eight fence palings (approx. 150mm apart) to form the roof of the arbour and the remaining 10 fence palings (approx. 200mm apart) to form the side walls of the arbour. (Tip:
use two offcuts of 150mm fence paling as spacers for the roof and two offcuts of 200mm landscaping timber as spacers for the walls.)