Arch trellises bring sculptural beauty and function to landscapes of all sizes. Try one of these gorgeous ideas for adding a curved trellis to your backyard, patio, garden, or walkway.

By Ann Wilson and Jessica Bennett
Updated January 20, 2021
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Home gardeners and landscape designers love arch trellises for their sculptural silhouettes and utilitarian forms. The curved structures, which can offer support for clambering ivy, climbing roses, and flowering vines, are often used to define entries, stand as garden focal points, and direct attention and foot traffic to targeted views. Arched trellis designs can be crafted from unstained timber, painted wood, resin lattice, twigs and branches, and an array of metals. Some act as freestanding vertical constructions or as arbor gates. Others align against walls and fences to lend distinctive shapes to a garden's perimeter and to prop up plants growing at their base. Whether it's practical or decorative, arch trellises should complement a home's architecture and setting. These arch trellis ideas can add beautiful structure and height to gardens, backyards, walkways, and more.

Credit: Mike Jensen

1. Divide your garden with an arch trellis.

Arch trellises provide a gorgeous way to emphasize different sections of your garden. To mark the transition between areas, install an arch trellis above the entrance to give a simple gate or walkway more prominence. Match the trellis design to the surrounding fence to create a cohesive look.

Credit: Eric Roth

2. Create a DIY trellis arch using an old window frame.

Repurpose architectural salvage to craft your own arched trellis. This wall-mounted structure was built using an old window frame with an arched transom. With the glass removed, a cedar grid fits into the opening and provides sturdy support for a large climbing vine. Securing the DIY trellis arch to the wall brings the rich green foliage in beautiful contrast with the dark red brick.

Credit: Kritsada Panichgul

3. Spotlight a view with an arch trellis.

Sightlines matter when placing an arched trellis in your landscape, so consider the location carefully. This metal arch trellis was placed so its opening directs attention to the garden's focal point: a rustic shed crafted of stone. Equipped with a gate, the trellis also defines the garden's border and entryway, while encouraging vibrant flowering clematis vines.

Credit: Robert Cardillo

4. Repeat arched shapes throughout your landscaping.

This pair of arched garden trellises echoes the shape and details of a door-like gate. Showcased against blue-painted brick walls, the decorative trellises boast plenty of cottage style. The design combines weighty wooden posts topped with finial-style caps with broad frames and handcrafted latticework. The one-of-a-kind structure showcases classic Gothic-style forms.

Credit: Mark Lohman

5. Group arch trellises together.

This elegant quartet of trellises matches the formality of an English rose garden. The interconnected white trellis arches stand out from a tall wall of greenery. Their soft curves and colorful blooms balance the straight lines of the clipped boxwoods enclosing the border. Shaped boxwoods, which align with the bases of the wooden trellis posts, repeat the arch trellises' rounded contours.

Credit: Michael Garland

6. Cover an arch trellis with roses.

A rose-covered trellis archway invites visitors to enter and admire a series of Mediterranean plantings. The curving pathway, garden trellis arch, and far-off mountain peaks form a serene composition of bowed shapes. Roses sporting thick canes and white blossoms play up the shape of the arch trellis.

Credit: Rich Pomerantz

7. Size an arch trellis to a walkway.

This substantial garden structure perfectly fits its setting. Designed to straddle the walkway at the top of the steps, this wooden trellis arch features square-lattice panels installed on the sides. The unfinished wood trellis will weather naturally and blend further into the landscape. Meanwhile, the vines it supports will become more established with time and put forth luxuriant layers of leaves and blossoms.

Credit: Peter Krumhardt

8. Keep a wrought-iron trellis arch bare.

Good-looking arch trellises make a strong statement even when they're not covered in foliage or flowers. Drawing attention to a garden stairway, a broad wrought-iron trellis arch stands ready to support fledgling vines that are just starting to take hold at its base. The simple yet striking silhouette of the metal trellis offers a pleasing contrast to the lushly planted surroundings.

Credit: Kritsada Panichgul

9. Coordinate an arch trellis with your exterior color scheme.

White and brown aren't the only color options for an arch trellis. This distinctive trellis carries the turquoise color of the home's front door out to the front walkway. Taking its cue from the grass and sky, the blue-green paint color emphasizes the arched shape (meant to stand bare of plants), which in turn makes the curved trellis a key player in the landscape design.

Credit: Robert Cardillo

10. Borrow arched trellis ideas from nature.

Wild landscapes call for rough-hewn arch trellises built from natural materials. In this garden, curly willow branches and hefty timbers form a fence that terminates in an unexpected archway. Look closely, and you'll note that the foundation of the arch trellis consists of two trees standing on either side of a flagstone path. The trees' upper branches weave together to form the curved top, which supports a thriving leaf-laden vine. A gate hinged to one of the trees echoes the fence's organic look.

Credit: David McDonald

11. Greet guests with an arched arbor trellis.

Passersby immediately know how to get from the sidewalk to this house, thanks to an arbor-like arch trellis that marks the entry. The trellis's sturdy design and lattice details suit both the home's historic architecture and cottage-style gardens. The mini arbor is a featured element amid a picket fence and colorful perennial borders. Old-fashioned roses scramble up and over the arched trellis to accentuate its silhouette and bring cheery pink blooms up high.

Credit: John Granen

12. Create a tunnel of metal arch trellises.

Arch trellises connected within a metal framework line up to create a tunnel that guides visitors from one area to the next. The striking construction frames a foliage-lined gravel walkway leading to a stone-walled outdoor room. As the vines that creep across the structure continue to fill out, the arch trellis will supply cooling shade to those wandering down the garden path. Landscaping lights installed amid the plantings light the path to ensure safe after-dark passage.

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