A Colorful Entry

“Arbors make good outside ‘doorways’ to lead from one section of a yard to another. It’s important to dress them, though, so you don’t end up with an isolated structure that looks like a door without walls. Curve the flower beds as shown leading into the arbor to make a funnel shape that guides traffic through the arbor. The plants here will do best in full sun.” —George Weigel, Mid-Atlantic Region Garden Design Expert


This symmetrical design adds supporting ‘walls’ to the arbor by flanking it with a pair of low-care, upright, gold-tinted Hinoki cypress evergreens. It also adds a jacket of color by planting the base of each side of the arbor with honeysuckle vines – in this case, the non-invasive, red-blooming ‘Major Wheeler’ variety.

The ‘floor’ leading into the arbor entryway is planted with a pair of summer-blooming perennials –Helenium Mardi Gras and Coreopsis Creme Brulee.

The heights are arranged for a layered look. The tall Hinoki cypress forms the backdrop, the Mardi Gras adds triangles of color in front of them, and finally the low, mounding Creme Brulee finishes the front with a curving band along the grass edge.

The color scheme is warm – primarily gold, yellow, and orange-red. The golden foliage of the Hinoki cypress will set off the yellow and orange-red blend of the Mardi Gras flowers, while the color-coordinating soft yellow blooms of Creme Brulee overlaps bloom time for about two months in mid-summer. The orange-red flowers of the arbor-climbing honeysuckle will echo the shades of Mardi Gras and coordinate well with the golden foliage of the flanking Hinoki cypresses.


Mid-Atlantic, MidWest
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Seasons of Interest

Early Spring, Summer, Late Summer

Weeks of Interest

12 Weeks