Pink roses on a arch in a garden.

How to Make a Rose Arch in Your Garden

Add height and color to your garden with a classic timber arch, framed with climbing roses and clematis. Available in kit form, arches are very easy to assemble and the steps outlined here show the basic method, although some types may differ slightly in design.

When to plant: Any time.

At their best: Spring to summer.

Time to complete: 1 day.

You will need: Rose arch kit, tape measure, galvanized screws, electric screwdriver, spade, hard core (broken bricks, stones, etc.), spirit level, ready-mixed post-mix concrete.

Lay out the pieces

Lay out all the pieces in the kit on the ground. Starting with the roof of the arch, align the short horizontal pieces so that they slot into the two long crossbeams that make up the roof. Use a tape measure to check that they are evenly spaced.

Join the sections

Using galvanized screws and an electric screwdriver, join the horizontal pieces to the beams. Then, attach the two vertical sides of the arch onto the roof, as directed by the kit instructions. The trellis sides in this arch came in two complete sections that are slotted into the roof.

Dig out footings

To secure the arch in the ground, stand it in its final site, and mark out the positions of the four vertical legs. Dig holes for the legs, 45 cm (18 in) deep and 30 cm (12 in) wide. Add a 5 cm (2 in) layer of hard core to the base of each hole.

Position the arch

Tamp down the hard core with a pole. With help, lift the arch and lower its legs into the holes. Make sure each leg is standing on the hard core base, and add or remove material until all four are solidly supported.

Check the uprights

Use a spirit level to make sure that all the verticals are correctly aligned, and that the horizontal pieces are level. If necessary, maneuver the arch until it is perfectly upright; when you are satisfied that it is, pack more hard core around the legs.

Mortar in the legs

Pour the ready-mixed concrete into each hole, up to ground level, ensuring that it completely surrounds the legs. Slowly add water to the holes to soak the concrete, and allow it to dry and harden for a day or two. Now stain the arch in your chosen color, and plant around it.