Wisteria at Biltmore Estate – Image Credit Wikipedia
Almost half a century ago, I visited the Biltmore estate, most of which is a gardener’s dream trip. But nothing impressed me more than the room-like presence that had been created by the wisteria plants. Since that time, I have been determined to create one garden or outdoor room or another.
Jacki Kellum’s Old House in the Ozarks
In 2020, I moved into a house in the Ozarks that is more than 125 years old. Because I was trying to move several climbing roses, I immediately had a carpenter build a large arbor along the front of my house. My backyard has several enormous walnut trees growing there, and roses cannot survive in the juglone that walnut trees produce and emit into the soil., and I thought that my roses would do better in the front.
How to Build a 12′ x 8′ Garden Arbor
Step by Step
The above garden arbor is 12′ wide by 8′ deep.
Notice, that there is an opening in the middle of the front and back.
Top View of Jacki Kellum Arbor
The squares show where the 4×4 posts are placed.
Place 8 4×4 posts as shown in the above diagram.
Dig holes first. We used a post-hole digger to dig the holes.
Set the posts, and level them in an upright position.
Temporarily attach pieces of wood at right angles to hold theposts in place.
Fill the post holes with concrete.
Front View of Jacki Kellum Arbor
The red rectangles indicate where the 2x4s are placed.
After the concrete dries, attach 2×4 studs to the posts.
Because I wanted the arbor to be continuous along the top, I added full-length 2x4s on the top layer. Because the middle is open, I only attached 4′ studs on either side. There is no stud on the second layer, in the middle.
When the plants are grown, I will have trained them and pruned them so that they grow up and along the top layer, creating an arch over any openings.
After the arbor was built and painted and after the paint had dried, I immediately planted roses along the arbor, but the heat and the bugs soon discouraged my gardening efforts for that year , and by 2021, I decided that I wanted my roses in the back, where I would spend most of my sitting time. More about how I am fighting the juglone back there later, but in 2021, I bought several Pink Reliance Grape Vines, and I decided that my front arbor would be the best place for them to grow.
I planted one Pin Reliance Grapevine at each of the outer posts, and I firmly attached the vines all along that post until I reached the top of its current growth.
I’ll use the picket fence to help force the vines both upward and outward. In other words, I’ll use the picket fence to help me train the grapes.
About halfway between the top of the fence and the lower top 2x4s, I have attached a strong wire. If you squint, you can see that the grape vines have begun to spread along the wires, too.
I believe that by next year, the wines shall have reached the top of the 2x4s, but that part of this process will happen according to its own schedule.
Ultimately, I’ll place 2x4s over the entire top of the structure, thus giving this area the feel of an outdoor room.
During the summer of 2021, I have created a type of an outdoor room in the back of my house, but because I don’t want to shade my breakfast room, which is just inside my back glass doors, I will not grow any vegetation over the top of that room.
While I am happy with the outdoor garden room that I created in my back during 2021, I am looking forward to seeing how long it will take me to grow long enough grape vines, to create another garden room–a room with a roof. I’ll return to this post year after year.
All About Pink Reliance Grapes
Pink Reliance Grapes – Jacki Kellum