An arbor in your backyard can offer some visual interest, as well as be a practical structure to erect. For example, if you have a set route that you commonly take through the yard, placing an arbor over the path that you walk can make sense. Arbors come in many different sizes and styles, and you may even think about hiring someone to build a custom arbor for you. Lots of homeowners plant vines at the base of their arbor so that the vines will grow up it. Here are some pros and cons of doing so.
Pro: They Add Beauty
There's little discounting the fact that vines growing up your arbor add natural beauty to the structure. If you're someone who is buying an arbor, it's likely because you enjoy being out in the yard and you want things to look their best. Perhaps you even have gardens that you enjoy. With vines crawling around your arbor, you'll readily agree that the area is more beautiful.
Con: They May Require Pruning
Should you plan to plant vines that will crawl up your arbor, you need to accept that some work will likely be required. Over time, the vines will grow thick enough that they may begin to close off the opening of the arbor to some small degree. This will mean that you'll need to prune the vines regularly to keep the arbor's opening at your desired size, which could be a time-consuming process for you to manage.
Pro: They Provide Privacy
In the right setup, vines that grow around your arbor can provide privacy. One issue with arbors is that they're typically a skeleton-like frame, which means that people can see through them. Perhaps you have an arbor at the opening to a private patio in your yard, but neighbors may be able to see through the arbor and into the patio area from their windows. Once your vines get lush, visibility will be much more difficult.
Con: They Could Harbor Pests
In some cases, thick areas of vegetation can harbor pests such as bees or wasps. These pests could build nests in the vegetation that is growing up your arbor, requiring a difficult removal process — and perhaps a sting or two beforehand. Additionally, if you choose flowering vines, the flowers may be popular for bees. This could make you concerned about walking through the arbor at times.