We recently signed a project that involves building an arbor, which by definition is a “shady resting place often made of rustic wood or latticework on which plants, such as climbing shrubs or vines, are grown.”

Could anything in this world sound more lovely?

Speaking of the definition of “arbor,” when I started looking for great arbor images for this post, I realized that a lot of people are confused about what the difference between an arbor and a pergola and a trellis is. For good reason. Sometimes the differences are clear, but sometimes the structure in question is more like a hybrid between an arbor and a pergola. In any case, by any other name an arbor would be as awesome. Call it whatever you want, but these are some of our favorite things to build.

For the record, I think Finehomebuilding.com does the best to explain the differences:

“Although the terms often are used interchangeably, trellises, arbors, and pergolas are distinctly different structures. A trellis is typically a latticework built to support climbing plants or vines. It can be a simple panel attached to the side of a building, or it can be freestanding in a garden or yard. An arbor usually incorporates a trellis into its structure, creating a tunnel-like passageway of climbing plants. Arbors have a continuous run of latticework from one side of the ‘tunnel’ to the other, often in an arched shape. Pergolas, too, are designed to support climbing plants. Unlike arbors, though, pergolas simply have posts supporting a rooflike structure. They’re most commonly used to shade a walkway or a deck.”

Here are some arbor ideas that we love:

Arbor with a swing for two (or six):

arbor with swing

Source: Houzz

A rustic arbor:

rustic arbor

Source: Two Men and a Little Farm blog

An arbor over a picket fence:

arbor over fence

An arbor above an exterior door or window(s): 

arbor above door

Source: Houzz

An arbor bench:

Arbor Bench

Source: Sunset Magazine

An arbor covered in flowers. (Isn’t this the arbor we all dream of, covered in a whole mess of flowers? This one is jam-packed with Zephrine roses, which are described as tough as nails and sweetly scented. Here’s another rose-covered arbor we’re crazy about.)

Zephrine Rose arbor

Source: Love My Cottage Garden

Have you ever thought about having an arbor at your house? What’s your favorite arbor look?