Adorned with plants, arches can help create a sense of journey and transition, from one area to another. This is especially useful if you want to divide your garden into 'rooms', for example a patio area leading to a veg patch or herb garden.


What the the arch is formed from is largely up to you. It could be a simple metal or wooden arch or a more ornate stone arch. Some plants can even be trained or pruned to form an arch, with little to no support needed.

Consider also that as you'll be passing through the arch, it's a great chance to show off plants with pendulous flowers and fruits – wisteria, grapevines and trained laburnums are ideal for this.

Check out the best plants for garden arches, below.

Schisandra rubriflora

Also called the Chinese magnolia vine, Schisandra rubriflora is a hardy, deciduous vine, with intense red spring flowers. Best grown in full sun or partial shade in moist, well-drained soil. For white flowers, try growing Schisandra grandiflora or Schisandra chinensis, which enjoy similar growing conditions.

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Schisandra rubriflora
Small, intense red flowers of Chinese magnolia vine

Apple trees

With the right pruning and training, some fruit trees, like apples, can be grown to form an arch. If you plan to do this, start with a large, sturdy arch, ideally metal, that will last for some years. As for the trees, start with bare-root maidens that are still pliable.

Apple tree
An apple tree covered in pale-pink blossom

Canary creeper

Annual climbers – or perennials treated as such – like canary creeper (Tropaeolum peregrinum), come with the bonus that you can try different combinations each year. Check out these climbing plant combinations for more ideas.

Canary creeper (Tropaeolum peregrinum)
Bright-yellow flowers and lobed leaves of canary creeper


Lots of clematis can be grown over garden arches. For large flowers, go for a Group 2 clematis such as 'Niobe' or 'Vyvyan Pennell'. For shade, take a look at Clematis alpina and Clematis montana. Keep them healthy with these expert clematis care tips.

Clematis viticella 'Galore'
Purple flowers of Clematis viticella 'Galore'


Grow jasmines like Trachelospermum asiaticum, Trachelospermum jasminoides and Jasminum officinale up an arch to enjoy their delicious perfume as you pass by. Watch this video for advice on planting jasmine.

Star jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides
White jasmine flowers

Climbing beans

As well as providing fresh veg, many climbing beans will impress with their jewel-like ornamental flowers. French beans have pale purple-pink flowers, while those of runner beans (pictured) are usually a spicy red. Find out how to grow climbing beans.

Runner beans
Runner beans with red flowers growing across canes


Hornbeam is a good example of a plant that can be grown to form an arch. The arch could be cut into a hedge, or you could train young beech trees to form a free-standing arch. Other plants you could do this with include yew, hazel and beech.

Trained hornbeam (Carpinus betulus)
A trained hornbeam tree

Climbing and rambling roses

Climbing and rambling roses produce naturally arching growth, so they're perfectly suited to growing over an arch. Discover more advice on growing them in our grow guides for climbing roses and rambling roses.

Rambling rose 'Super Fairy'
Masses of pink blooms on rambling rose 'Super Fairy'


Wisteria is a lovely option for growing up a garden arch. In spring and summer, the scented, pendent blooms will hang over the archway, complemented by the lush foliage. The wisteria pictured has finished flowering and has been combined with Clematis viticella 'Kermesina' to prolong the colour.

Wisteria floribunda and Clematis viticella 'Kermesina'
Wisteria foliage and magenta clematis flowers adorning an arch


There are lots of reasons to choose ivy for growing up a garden arch. It thrives in shade, is fast-growing, evergreen and benefits wildlife. Here are some of the ivy cultivars you could grow.

English ivy (Hedera helix)
Ivy growing around a beautiful dry stone arch

Sweet peas

Scented climbers like sweet peas are especially good if you have a arch near seating areas. Plus, being an annual, you can try growing different plants in subsequent years. Find out how to sow sweet peas in spring or autumn.

Sweet pea, Lathyrus odoratus Noel Sutton
Mauve sweet pea flowers