This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Arbors, covered walks, and shaded resting-places, come within the limits of picturesque grounds, if they are formed of living trees or shrubs. On the Continent, the vine is much used for this purpose; and so it may, to a certain extent, in the south of England; but beyond the midland counties, and in Scotland, the Hop, Clematis, Ivy, Honeysuckle, and Climbing Roses, must be used as substitutes. Fig. 1 displays the taste of the French and Germans in this matter, who in general place them against walls, and often carry them by a flight of steps to a considerable height, as in our figure.
In Germany, arbors are often fitted up among the branches of very large and old trees, And access got to them by means of a ladder. If study or privacy induce the visitor to ascend, the ladder can be drawn up, and so intrusion be prevented. We may here remark, that in general the terms arbor and bower have been considered synonymous: it appears that properly they are not Mr. Mallett, of Dublin, frequently quoted in this work, says: "An arbor is a space covered and enclosed by the interweaving branches of trees, and reticulated stems of living plants, intended to afford shade and retirement. The words arbor and bower are properly very distinct; the former alone being formed of the living branches and stems of trees, whereas the bower, which is not derived from bough, or any analogous word, means simply any small chamber; yet they are used indiscriminately by the best writers".
The term bower seems, as it were, the word of poetry, in which it is frequently made use of; whereas arbor seldom is, if ever.
With us, few natural arbors are to be met with. The least artistical as those formed by slightly arranging the pendant branches of the Weeping Ash, or similar-growing trees. A few props within, to support a rod or hoop, to carry up the pendant branches, is all that is required; and if these have too much the appearance of art, the smaller branches of the tree may be trained down upon them, or ivy may be planted and trained over them, and allowed to intermingle with the branches forming the root.
The next kind of arbor for simplicity of form, is that formed of tall, straight, young trees, of Beech, Hornbeam, Mountain Ash, Willow, etc. These planted close together in a line, forming the back and sides of the purposed arbor, the front being in general left open, are bent oyer at the tops to form the roof, and tied together to keep them in their proper places. Sometimes the stems are crossed in trellis fashion, and after a time they unite by a species of natural engrafting, and become exceedingly strong, and will last for years.
Fig. 2 represents a Gothic rustic arbor, or resting-place; the basement to be of stone, the superstructure of unbarked timber, and the roof thatched with heath. The floor should be pitched with pebbles in Gothic pattern, and the seats be made of oak plank.