A Pergola Primer

There’s nothing worse than seeing some property that has a classy, white, well-maintained Neoclassical house on it. Problem: The owner has buried, nose-down, a rusted 1955 Nash Rambler in the front yard. Some things just ain’t right.

This is a transferrable example when it comes to building a pergola in your yard. The structure needs to have some symbiotic relationship with your home and yard.

What’s a Pergola?

It’s a lot like an arbor in so much that it’s an eye-pleasing piece of landscape architecture. What separates the two are that pergolas are much bigger than an arbor.

The idea came about during the Italian Renaissance. Back then it was made of some type of masonry. Nowadays, you can get wooden or plastic ones to serve the same purpose.

You can leave the top of a pergola open or cover it to keep out the elements. Uncovered, you’ll usually see vines crawling all over the structure.

What’s Best for You

You’ll need to take a few matters into account when picking a design for your pergola.

  • How will the structure match-up with your existing home?
  • How will the pergola fit-in with your outdoor landscaping scheme?
  • How much room do you have to erect this unit?
  • Do you want a dirt floor or some other kind of foundation?

Every pergola is somewhat unique. It all depends on the environment where it will be constructed. There are general styles from which to choose, but it can have personal flairs that only you enjoy.

For example, if you’re looking for something to sit on, like a bench, you probably need to pick a plan that has two sides extending down to the ground.

Backyards that are extravagant, full of flowering plants, crawling vines and grasses might be best suited to have a pergola that fits-in with the greenery. Incorporating baskets or clay containers will make this backyard focal-point an extension of your garden. There are some designs that integrate water features into their pergolas.

Try these suggestions to give your pergola a sense of purpose:

  • We already mentioned this but a pergola can make a great vertical garden.
  • Entertain a lot? A pergola is a shaded area where you can put your tables of food for guests.
  • If you have little children, your pergola could become a magical, enchanted place.
  • Do you and your honey regularly enjoy a summer night together? This could be a destination for your own personal backyard lover’s lane.

Rule of thumb: Be creative. Just don’t ever use a 1955 Nash Rambler as a planter near your pergola.

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