Garden arch ideas: 11 gorgeous archways for your backyard

These glorious garden arch ideas are perfect for elevating a pathway or seating spot

garden arch ideas – leafy arch on modern patio with mirror and dining set
(Image credit: Kate Martin/Future)

There are many possibilities when it comes to garden arch ideas. And, because of this, they can suit all kinds of plots. From rose-covered structures to straight-edged stone designs, a garden arch can be romantic or contemporary, subtle or bold.

Not only do arches add vertical visual interest and often a sense of drama, but they're useful in dividing zones. Placed at the start of a path or to break up garden fence ideas, they'll make an entrance (or exit) somewhat of an occasion. Of course, you can place an arch above a seating area too, for an extra boost of ambience and shelter.

To get you inspired, we've rounded up 11 lovely looks below – you'll soon be tempted for your own garden arch ideas.

Garden arch ideas: 11 stunning structures

From statement styles to cottage-garden vibes, there's something for everyone in these garden arch ideas.

1. Elevate your raised beds

elegant agriframe arches in garden designed by zinnia design

(Image credit: Agriframes/Zinnia Design)

This beautiful duo of archways adds an extra dimension to a springtime scene whilst framing the pathway between raised garden bed ideas. And in summer, once the bulbs have died back, they can be used to support fragrant sweet peas, or even climbing beans.

A look like this would make a lovely addition to any cottage-garden style plot. These ones are made from steel too, so will last.

2. Create impact with a series of archways

'The Wedgwood Garden', designed by Jo Thompson at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019

(Image credit: Neil Hepworth/RHS)

Here's a style that's big and certainly bold. This show garden is inspired by the classical architecture of Rome and blends industrial and romantic tones with its mix of materials. The elegant archways frame a seating area and a nearby pool of water, offering different views of the scene whilst subtly dividing the space.

Warm-hued planting is chosen to complement the structures and furniture, tying the whole look together seamlessly. 

If you're after cheap garden fence ideas, then something like this probably isn't the solution. But, if you've got the budget to go bespoke and want to make a show-stopping statement, why not give this look a go? You could always opt for a smaller version – even just one arch in this style would make an impact.

3. Go modern and minimal

stone arch with path at the 'RHS Sanctuary' garden, designed by Ula Maria at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival

(Image credit: Joanna Kossak/RHS)

This sleek, straight-edged design is certainly a contrast to the more classical approach above, but could be ideal for contemporary spaces. It embraces simplicity, with the stone structure acting as a sophisticated backdrop for verdant foliage. Come nightfall, hidden uplights illuminate the planting, casting show-stopping shadows onto the scene.

Something like this could be integrated into your own garden wall ideas – especially if you're looking to enclose a seating space or quiet zone away from the rest of your yard. 

4. Opt for romantic beauty with a rose arch

RHS rosemoor rose arch

Beautiful rose arches at RHS Rosemoor

(Image credit: Jim Wileman/RHS)

Rose-covered garden archway ideas are a classic choice and will reliably add a sense of romanticism to a space. Whether you choose a singular archway, a row of structures to frame the length of a path, or a larger style like this, the summer display and intoxicating scent will bring a smile to anyone who passes beneath.

Ramblers or climbers just need something sturdy to scramble up – so whether you choose a wooden or metal design is up to you. Our guide on how to grow roses will give you a helping hand in recreating the look.

5. Shelter a seating area

steel arch from garden trading above seating

This arch is from Garden Trading

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

As we mentioned before, arches aren't just for pathways or to punctuate walls – they can be used to elevate a seating space, too.

This steel design turns a simple bench into a real focal point for the garden. Meanwhile, climbers woven around its structure add an element of shelter and, once they establish further, privacy. It makes the perfect spot to enjoy a morning coffee and take in the views of your plot.

If you're looking for more small, sheltered seating solutions, you'll find plenty in our garden arbor ideas feature.

6. Zone your backyard with a foliage arch

modern outdoor dining area with archway and mirror

An arch of red foliage elevates this space

(Image credit: Kate Martin/Future)

You don't have to opt for flowers when picking plants to adorn an arch. This flame-hued foliage is a case in point and is just as stunning as a curve of blooms. 

It brings a splash of color to the scene amongst all the surrounding shades of green. Plus, it distinguishes the dining set-up from a more relaxed lounging spot.

If you like this style too, then our modern garden ideas feature will inspire you further.

7. Plant climbers around a rustic design

rustic wooden arch with climbing plants

A laid-back look for cottage-style plots

(Image credit: Clive Nichols Photography Ltd/Future)

Garden arches are a good way to add an element of structure and definition to pathways. And, this is especially the case if they're set amongst billowing borders, as shown here.

To recreate the rustic look, opt for a simple wooden design and then surround it with all your favorite flowers of multiple heights. This one has a pergola-style top, which will allow any climbing plants to grow right up overhead in time.

If you want to find out the best climbing plants for your garden arch ideas, our guide will come in handy.

8. Make a splash with an arch-style water feature

arched water feature at 'Petrus: Full Circle', designed by Rachael Bennion, in partnership with service users and volunteers at homelessness charity Petrus Community, at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 2021

'Petrus: Full Circle', designed by Rachael Bennion in partnership with service users and volunteers at homelessness charity Petrus Community, at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 2021

(Image credit: Tim Sandall/RHS)

Looking for something a little different for your garden arch ideas? Incorporating curved water feature ideas, like this one seen here, is a stunning solution.

This metal design adds a sense of modernity and complements the shape of the surrounding deck well. Note the smaller, sculptural version nearby too, which only enhances the theme.

Pair with pretty pond plants to soften the look. We like the use of bamboo along the borders of this scene too, which adds texture and visual interest.

9. Use a wide design to make a statement

'The M&G Garden', designed by Sarah Price at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018

(Image credit: Neil Hepworth/RHS)

This wide archway adds a striking focal point to a Mediterranean-style set-up whilst dividing the space and framing two pomegranate trees beyond. The structure itself is made from rammed earth walling – a traditional method which offers a beautiful terracotta tone and layered patina.

Look closely and you'll spot a small waterfall feature near the top edge. This adds the sensory elements of soothing sound and movement as it falls. It's a great example of how an arch can be used as an impressive, sculptural feature.

Pair with plenty of the best drought tolerant plants to recreate the look – our guide has you covered if you're looking for top picks.

10. Frame a view with a narrow arch

garden arch at the 'RHS Sanctuary' garden, designed by Ula Maria at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2019

(Image credit: Joanna Kossak/RHS)

Speaking of sculptural impact, smaller garden arch ideas can be used to add pockets of interest to planting, just like in this example. The brickwork design adds shelter and screening to a space too, and juxtaposes beautifully against delicate grasses. What's more, the narrow window it creates will offer an enticing view of the plot beyond from either side.

Our guide on how to grow ornamental grasses will help you recreate the look in your backyard.

11. Up the intrigue with a gothic design

stone arch in garden

This Medieval-inspired arch adds a sense of mystery

(Image credit: Clive Nichols Photography Ltd/Future)

If you want to add an element of mystery and intrigue to your backyard, then gothic-style garden arch ideas might be just the solution.

This stone design is reminiscent of Medieval architecture, and looks fantastic at the end of a curved grass path, leading to a cool, paved space beyond. Tucked in amongst the greenery it offers an air of secrecy – the perfect place to escape for a bit of peace and quiet.

Our garden screening ideas feature has more ideas if you want to give areas of your yard a more exclusive feel.

Where should a garden arch be placed?

Although by now you'll have plenty of ideas of where a garden arch can be placed, we asked Andrew Downey, Agriframes' Managing Director, for his insight. He explains how they are the 'perfect way to create instant height and impact anywhere in your garden – adding interest to a pathway, defining a gateway or showcasing a stunning scented climber.  

'Arches can be used to define areas of your garden without obscuring the view,' he continues. 'Or, can be used in series to add a sense of movement and guide the eye.'

To put it simply, garden arches are incredibly versatile, so exactly where you put them is up to you and the garden design ideas that you want to achieve.

garden archway with roses and white gate

This white arch adorned with roses makes a beautiful addition to a gate

(Image credit: Zoonar/S.Heap/Getty Images)

How do you secure a garden arch to the ground?

'It's worth making sure your arch is absolutely upright and properly installed to avoid it moving when planting is established,' says Andrew Downey of Agriframes. Of course, even if you aren't surrounding it with climbers, you'll need to make sure it's sturdy enough to withstand weather conditions safely.

'Agriframes arches are designed to be inserted directly into the ground to a depth that anchors them securely with no need for concrete or other fixings,' Andrew continues. 

However, other designs, including wooden archways, often need to be secured using a quick-dry concrete such as Postcrete. This is especially the case if the ground is soft. For lighter arches, ground spikes can do the job just fine – your arch simply slots into them and then the spikes are driven into the ground.

If you want to add an arch to your patio ideas or other paved space, then you'll need some metal fixing brackets.

agriframes gothic arches along path

The Agriframes Gothic Arch adds impact to this pathway

(Image credit: Agriframes)

How can you choose the best style of arch for your garden?

'Think about whether you'd like the arch to be a feature in its own right, even without planting,' suggests Andrew of Agriframes. For instance, he explains how the Agriframes Gothic Arch, shown above, has dramatic finials and can add architectural interest, whilst other designs can have a more vintage feel, evoking a traditional cottage garden. 'Consider the style of your house and whether you prefer a contemporary or traditional look,' Andrew adds. 

He also suggests to use the biggest arch you can accommodate, to ensure it doesn't become restrictive once planted. 'Two people should be able to comfortably stand beneath an arch,' he says.

Holly Crossley
Holly Crossley

The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then. She's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator – plants are her passion. But, she loves all things digital too. She joined the team at Gardeningetc after working as a freelance content creator for a web agency, whilst studying for her M.Sc. in Marketing. Now she feels lucky enough to combine both digital and botanical worlds, every day!