The wire arch rides rampant in suburban gardens, largely because it is so much quicker and easier to go to the ironmonger's than to hunt the neighbourhood for stems and poles. Yet a little trouble is often rewarded. Country builders frequently have stems and boles on the premises, and a casual visit is repaid by the acquisition of a useful collection of supports. A couple of stout stems fixed opposite to each other, and spanned, in an informal sort of way, by smaller pieces, constitute a far better framework for an arch, in the estimation of artistic people, than an ironmonger's erection of galvanised wire.
If galvanised wire arches are employed - and they are unquestionably convenient for town and suburban gardens - the cheapest qualities should be tabooed, as they are frequently "galvanised" very lightly, and if the metal is exposed the atmospheric acid causes a chemical action, which may act, and in many cases has acted, prejudicially to the plants. The arches should be handled carefully. If thrown about and bruised, the metal is exposed at once.
The arch is the first resource of the gardener who aims at interesting effects. Many Roses do extremely well on arches, and in view of the selections given in the previous chapter it is unnecessary to specify them here. But the arch must not be the only departure from the rectangles of beds, as it threatens to be now.