July: Build a Sweet Garden Arbor
Wanting a destination for guests to gather in a seldom-visited corner of the backyard, This Old House reader Art Fink handcrafted an arbor with comfortable bench seating for four. The project began simply enough with some leftover wood and a chalk sketch on the garage floor. But what makes the arbor so inviting are the finishing touches, such as the climbing confederate jasmine that covers the arbor's arched roof; a dogwood flower carved into the apex of the front arch that Art chiseled from a pattern designed by his wife, Faye; and bench arms that are wide enough to set a drink on. "Now when company comes over, we head straight to the arbor," says Art.