While many wrought iron arches are no longer made from true wrought iron, the classic looks of the metal remain. Many modern versions are actually made from some sort of steel, though it is possible to still purchase an arch made out of true wrought iron. The cost will be significantly higher, as the real metal is much harder to find than less expensive steel. True wrought iron will resist corrosion, but less expensive steel arches that are marketed as wrought iron can rust over time and exposure to the elements.
Wrought iron arches come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they can be placed throughout a yard or garden to add a new aesthetic to the space. Some arches are meant to bear a load, though not too much weight should be placed on an iron arch. Arches made of steel, especially thinner steel, are prone to bending and can bear only a small amount of weight. It is common to allow creeping vines to cling to wrought iron arches, further adding to the aesthetic of a yard or garden. Just about all arches can handle such a load, though heavier loads such as certain light fixtures or other garden accessories should be avoided unless the arch is stable and thick enough to handle it.
True wrought iron is quite strong and resistant to weathering, making it a great choice for outdoor landscapes. True wrought iron arches can also be welded into many decorative designs; trellises can be welded into an arch, providing a simple and elegant design for a garden or yard. Some options contain ornate designs beyond a simple trellis design. Still other arches made of true wrought iron can be built into a larger structure such as a porch or gazebo, and an extended arch may contain handrails or lead into an elaborate wrought iron gazebo.
Some sidewalk wrought iron arches feature planters or supports for flower boxes. This allows decorative flowers and boxes to be placed directly into the iron arch. The arch itself is specifically designed to support the weight of such accessories, as are sturdier arches that feature wrought iron benches for sitting. The weight of such an arch will be significantly higher, regardless of whether the arch is a true wrought iron arch or a steel arch made to appear as such.