William Strachey —one of America’s first historians— recorded in 1612 that the houses of Virginia were “like gardein arbours.” From the earliest records that describe what an arbor is, as, with other shade shelters, it is like trying to define “house.” A house serves the purpose of a place to live, but are distinctly set in time by its style, material, and how it is used. For some American Indians, a transportable teepee was home — for someone else, their residence may be a houseboat or a skyscraper apartment, etc.
Over the last seventy years, the classifying of shade shelters and architectural garden structures —are by in large— been formalized into distinct categories of what characteristics define an arbor as an arbor, a pergola — a pergola, or a pavilion — a pavilion, etc.
All in all, this makes talk of outdoor living shelters straightforward and understanding others a little simpler. Arbors, though, have a bit of a curveball that challenges its trademark and imitates its imprint —and that is: the trellis.