Garden Arch is a freestanding structure that supports vines and other climbing plants in your garden. It also acts as a passageway and makes your garden attractive.
The good news is you don’t need a landscaper to make one. Some PVC pipes from your local hardware store and your good old toolbox would do the job. Let’s get started.
Why Choose PVC For Your Garden Arch?
You could choose various materials while making a garden arch, but PVC serves the purpose best for the following reasons.
PVC Blends Well
PVC pipes come in white or dark grey color. Typically, most plants are green, so a white pipe perfectly blends with them. Moreover, if you are a stubborn perfectionist, you could also dye or paint PVC with the color of your choice.
There’s no point in installing a garden arch that won’t last long. PVC pipes are durable compared to other materials. Metallic materials corrode, whereas wood undergoes biodegradation and becomes infested with pests and termites.
As a result, you may need to spend more money to coat these materials with protective solutions.
On the other hand, PVC pipes are waterproof and can withstand heat for lengthy periods, making them an excellent all-weather choice.
Flexibility is another advantage PVC has over metals and wood– PVC pipes are super flexible. You can bend them to any desired shape or add additional attachments to make a reinforced structure.
Using wooden or metallic materials to make your garden arch will most likely limit your design creativity as you can only make horizontal archways with them. But with PVC, you can make twists and turns wherever necessary.
Less Maintenance Required
The stress of maintaining a garden arch made with PVC is little compared to metals and wood. You need not worry about coating your arch now and then or replacing the pipes frequently.
What Are the Tools You’ll Need to Get Started?
The tools and materials required for your PVC garden arch are relatively easy to find. They include:
- PVC pipes (preferably white) measuring 50MM (2″) and 40MM (1.5″) in diameter.
- PVC cement or glue
- PVC Tees corresponding to the pipes mentioned above
- Felt-tipped marker pen
- Tape measure
- Rubber mallet
- Miter Box
Before You Start Out
There are a few things you should consider before installing a PVC arch. The first is your plants.
What type of plants do you have in your garden? PVC arches typically work best with vines and climbers like Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus), Lathyrus odoratus (Sweet pea), and Rhodochiton (Purple bell vine).
Secondly, if you live in a windy area, you need additional reinforcements in the structure. For example, you may need to interconnect the arches using Tee fittings.
Finally, consider the aesthetics of your garden. If your main goal is to beautify your garden, go for pipes that are not too heavy but strong enough to hold your plants together.
The Process Of Making A Garden Arch With PVC
These are the simple steps to make a DIY garden arch using PVC pipes:
Mark The Location
Identify a suitable location and lay down two full-size PVC pipes parallelly. Space them equally, leaving at least five feet between the pipes.
Use a measuring tape and trowel to mark digging spots on each side of the pipes. Make sure that the spots are 18 inches apart. For instance, if you need to make six arches, mark six spots on each side 18 inches apart.
Remove the PVC pipes and keep them aside.
There are two ways to go about this. The first one involves digging holes and putting in the pipes directly to form the arch.
The second one involves digging in holes and putting in cut pieces of the 2″ pipe. You will then insert the 1.5″ inch pipes in these pieces to form the arch. We prefer going with the second method as it provides strong foundational support to the structure.
Start digging holes at least four inches deep and less than two inches in diameter.
A solid wooden table attached with a strong clamp works best for this. Use the following formula to calculate the length of the pipes required to form the arch:
- total length of the arch = (2 x length of vertical side sections) + (3.14 x 0.5 x width of arch)
Mark and cut the pipes to the desired length using a hacksaw. Once again, remember that 2″ pipes will form the vertical section while the 1.5″ pipes will form the arch.
Start Inserting Pipes
Start inserting pipes cut for the vertical section into the holes you dug. Use a rubber mallet to firm up loose soil around the hole and secure the pipe tightly.
Once you are done with the vertical section, install 1.5″ pipes to form the arch. Use good quality PVC cement to secure the pipes.
Link Other Pipes And Complete The Structure
You can interconnect the arches using Tee fittings to strengthen the structure. It also provides additional horizontal space for your plants to grow. Remember to use the right-sized fittings to accomplish this.
Use 2″ fittings to connect the vertical sections and 1.5″ fittings to connect the arch sections.
However, this step is entirely optional and may be skipped.
You may choose to spice up your arch with more creative ideas, like adding flowers or decorative accessories. You could also paint it with colors that suit you.
Making a PVC archway for your garden isn’t complicated. It’s pretty straightforward, especially if you’re a dedicated DIYer.
Also, you don’t have to break the bank. The tools and materials listed are relatively inexpensive.