As the proverb states: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Beyond my obsession with graphic design, I occasionally, (with my wife Leslie) do work in our yard—I’m generally the builder, she has the green thumb.
Last year we cut down a very large crepe myrtle and Leslie suggested we use the branches to fashion a garden arbor. Crepe myrtle is a type of deciduous tree/shrub (Lagerstroemia) native to (Wikipedia tells us) the Indian subcontinent, southeast Asia, northern Australia, and other parts of Oceania, cultivated in warmer climates—in the US in zones 7–9.
I thought some of those here might enjoy seeing the result.
(1) First, this is just a seat-of-the-pants project—in other words, I’m making it up as I go along.
(2) We cut down the crepe myrtle and I chose limbs to work with that were relatively straight. Like the one shown below, it was a sizable tree—I estimate between 30 and 40 feet high.
(3) We let most of the limbs dry for few months then washed them down with a soapy mixture and I painted them with a wood preservative.
(4) The corner posts have a diameter (toward the base) of roughly 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 inches and the part above ground is roughly 8 ft tall (another 2 feet or so is buried). I dug the post holes roughly 6 1/2 ft apart side-to-side and 3 ft front-to-back.
(5) While I still had the pieces on the ground I cut the tops at an angle to minimize places where water might collect and used a rasp to smooth the sharp edges and branch knobs.
(6) I put rocks at the bottom of 18 to 24 inch post holes, held them upright with braces, and set them in concrete. (I suspect all some future civilization will find on earth is Stonehenge, the Pyramids, and my post holes.)
(7) I used a few screws but the great majority of the connections between the parts are made by drilling holes in the two pieces and gluing a 3/4 inch dowel in between them.
(8) If you look closely, you can see the dowels where they connect.
I have no idea how this thing will last but I’d be happy with maybe 8 or 10 years.