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Greening an Arbour / Gazebo...

Garden houses, arbours, bowers, gazebos, etc.. can be simple places for storing tools or equipment, and also small, holy refuges where people can rest from their work, read a book, or reflect on the world. They can be built close to the house or be free-standing. In their classic traditional form as trellis arbours with open latticework instead of windows, they simply invite greenery. But even closed structures can be greened-- with climbing aids. We'll show you old and new examples. 

Gartenlaube mit Begrünung in Berlin, ca. 1900
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Arbours by the House

Arbours/pergolas don't have to be only in the back yard or back garden, particularly in the case of city garden allotments. In the past, the arbour was often conceived and designed as a transitional space between the house and the garden. Thus, an airy, shady area protected from rain was built, where one could often sit and drink tea (or wine ...). The advantage: short routes for transporting tableware, etc.. And if the house didn't have a back exit, the main entrance was decorated with a pergola. When renovating historical buildings, the  reconstruction of such pergolas is always worth considering! 

Typical of the arbour walls was the delicate filigree latticework of wood moulding, often set diagonally. It was an excellent climbing aid for light climbing plants. Vines and roses were mostly used, and later clematis.

Garden arbour on the roof of an outbuilding, roses
Garden arbour with wooden lattice
Historic garden arbour at a house greened with grapevines, winter picture
Historic arbour at a house, Dresden / Saxony
Trellis arbour on a balcony with graceless grapevine; in the past, likely a grapevine variety with fruit
Trellised wooden arbour,, Castle Tiefurt near Weimar / Thuringia
Porch arbour at a back entrance with diagonal lattices; trellis grapes coming from the right (winter photo)
Porch arbour at a house entrance

Historical Pavilions / Garden Houses

In the 19th century, virtually every upper middle-class house garden in the cities had a gazebo / summer house, a tea hut, or a pavilion. Usually an exposed place was chosen, e.g. on a corner of the property exposed to the roadside from where one could watch the carriages passing by... The garden pavilion often took the form of a pergola or a trellised wooden arbour. 

In the allotments of the more modest social classes, the garden huts tended toward closed constructions, often with a terrace-like porch together with lattice-work on which climbing plants could grow. Our great-grandfathers liked to green these summer houses with nice-smelling honeysuckle; nowadays, annuals are usually preferred. The plants were self-clinging or were woven in. Only a little binding material was used for the adherence of the shoots to the trellis (e.g. for vines).

Historic garden house with lattice work yet to be greened
Historic garden house with espalier walls
Old garden pavilion with roses and vines, antique style design with lattices
Old garden pavilion, greened with roses
Trellis arbour with clematis
Trellis arbour with clematis
Old garden arbour made of lattice work
Old arbour made up of wooden rods, Bad Schandau / Saxony
Garden arbour with ivy (older form Arborescens)
Garden arbour with ivy (older form of Arborescens)
A real grapevine arbour: garden pavilion greened with vines
A real grapevine arbour: grapevine covered garden pavilion near Pillnitz / Saxony

Modern Garden Sheds

We are referring to the standard prefab summer garden shed or a corresponding kit, but original constructions-  tree houses, scrapped circus caravans, wagons, old freight train cars- are found in gardens from time to time. To facilitate the trellising of climbing plants, cable systems can be installed, our easy wire rope system being more than sufficient as a general rule. An compilation of individual parts is usually the best and most inexpensive solution: staples (loops/ U-nails, EK 02555) or staple nails (KN 04055) are usually sufficient for guiding the wire ropes, and eye bolts are needed only at the mounting points of the rope loops. With increased space from the wall, use the heftier variant (of the easy) style. With even more wall distance, use a medium construction.

Small green garden house, wire rope system, medium construction style
Small green garden house, wire rope system, medium construction style
Grapevines on a garden house on the wire rope system 4060
Garden house (in the US) with a wire rope system 4060 in medium style
Modern tool shed; attic greened with two horizontal wire ropes and planted with grapevines
Modern tool shed; attic greened with two horizontal wire ropes and planted with grapevines
Arbour-construct on a terrace; horizontal wire ropes together with eyelets as a climbing aid in medium style
Arbour-construct on a terrace; horizontal wire ropes together with eyelets as a climbing aid in medium style
Garden house with clematis (right) on system 4010, basic construction style
Garden house with clematis (right) on system 4010, basic construction style
The side of a wood shed with a clematis on cable system 5020, medium style
The side of a wood shed with a clematis on cable system 5020, medium style
Garden hut with a "trailer look" planted with grapevine
Garden hut with a "trailer look" planted with grapevine, Stople / Usedom / Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
Small shed with a wire rope system, medium style construction with grapevine
Small shed with a wire rope system, medium style kit with grapevines
Portico with grapevine, Elbe Valley near Dresden / Saxony
Portico with grapevine, Elbe Valley near Dresden / Saxony