Garden arches are one of the simplest, yet most eye-catching ways to support climbing plants, bringing additional flowers and greenery to your outdoor space. While fences and walls are instantly improved by a flowering wisteria or well-maintained ivy, a garden arch offers the chance to introduce climbing plants anywhere in your garden, not just along the boundaries.
Arches are both decorative and functional – they can help to define paths, lead you through to different areas, create privacy screens, provide an entryway to a veg patch or simply be an attractive centrepiece of your outdoor space.
The range of materials, styles and added features means you can choose a garden arch to suit your specific requirements. Metal arches can provide an elegant but sturdy modern option, while wooden ones offer a robust, traditional feel. Some – especially wooden arches – can be painted to suit your style or colour scheme.
An arch gives you the opportunity to introduce lots more flowers to your garden, for an extra burst of colour and fragrance. Additional flowers can also provide vital nectar for pollinating insects. Arches with built-in planters let you grow climbers in areas with little or no soil, while arches with decorative designs can help improve the aesthetics of your garden before the climbers have even begun growing.
To help you choose the perfect arch for your garden, we’ve selected the eight best options from trusted manufacturers and retailers. These include various sizes, materials and prices to give you a range of options.
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If you want to learn more about garden arches and which plants to grow on them, then check out our article on the best plants for a garden arch and also see our article on the best gardening shoes if you're in need of some accessories.
The best garden arches in 2023
Our best garden arches to support your climbers:
Blooma Cottage Apex Top Softwood Arch
This unfussy wooden garden arch is perfect for cottage gardens and gives a rustic, woodland look without pretension. Sturdy and robust the arch is perfect for heavier climbers like wisteria.
Smart Garden Elegant Woodland Wooden Garden Arch
The trellis along the sides of this arch suits more delicate climbers such as jasmine and honeysuckle. The bowed top is graceful without compromising on stability.
This twist on a classic is perfect for modern or Scandinavian-style gardens. British-made, this strong arch gives the form and functionality of a more standard arch with a contemporary feel.
Agriframes Wall Arch
This wall arch is a great way to bring a garden arch into a more cramped area of the garden. It’s fantastic for brightening up plain garden walls, or creating paths along them to lead to other areas of the garden.
Agriframes Vine Arch
Perfect for amateur winemakers, this arch is designed to hold heavy grapevines. A clever way to introduce both decorative and productive grapes into the wider design of your garden, it's strong enough to also hold wisteria and rambler roses.
Relaxdays Rose Arch with Planters
This unusual arch is made from powder-coated iron and has planters at the base, ideal for showing off whichever pots you fancy. Weighing only 13kg, this arch is easy to lift and move around the garden if you fancy a change.
Mercia Bow Top Wooden Garden Arch
This simple wooden arch is perfect for sitting over a path or used as the centrepiece in a smaller garden. The frame comes with a 15-year anti-rot guarantee and its lattice design offers support for climbing plants.
Fiora Metal Garden Arch
This arch is designed with a floral pattern, so even before your climbing plants start growing it provides a decorative addition to your outdoor space. The metal is rust-resistant and it weighs only 5kg, so the arch can be moved easily.
Where to put a garden arch?
Before buying your arch, it’s important to decide where you’re going to put it, so you choose the right size, shape and style. You also need to make sure it will fit comfortably in your space and won’t overcrowd neighbouring plants or structures. The key factors that can help you select the right location are the size of your garden, the aesthetic you want to create and the plants you wish to grow.
The size of your garden will affect the number of positioning options you have. If your space is small, then you may only be able to put the arch over a path or against a fence. You may also want an arch that isn’t overly tall or broad, to take up less space and not block too much light. With a larger garden you’ll have more options when it comes to positioning, and to ensure it has impact, you may prefer a taller, wider arch.
You probably already have a vision in mind of how you want the arch to enhance your garden, and this should help you position it. For example, if you want it to work as a focal point, then place it centrally or where it’s most easily seen. If you want to create an entryway to the rest of your outdoor space, site it at the point most frequently used to enter your garden. Maybe you want it as a privacy screen or to cheer up a pathway – in both cases consider where it will look and work best. Take some measurements too, so ensure the arch will fit your proposed space.
The final consideration is the plants you wish to grow on it. You should ensure the location receives the right amount of light for the plants you plan to grow. Have you always dreamed of an arch festooned in wisteria or clematis, or would you like to grow your own grapes? These plants all need a sunny spot, but if you prefer fragrant honeysuckle and star jasmine, then partial shade is best.
This review was last updated in August 2023. We apologise if anything has changed in price or availability.