Timeless, classy and ever so romantic. Pergolas add a lot to a garden. No matter if you have a traditional English cottage garden, an asian-influenced garden or a contemporary eco-garden. A good pergola could be the perfect feature to set your garden off this summer.
Decorative and practical a decent pergola can fulfil a lot of uses — centring areas of the garden, providing shade from the midday sun on those blazingly hot days, and serving as a platform for all manner of climbing plants.
Whether you go for a brick, hardwood, stone or metal variety. Pergolas also come in a wide array of shapes and sizes. Here’s a little rundown of some of our favourite kinds to help you find the perfect pergola for your garden.
Perhaps the first kind of pergola that comes to mind when you hear the word mentioned is the tunnel variety. For particularly large, or at least long gardens, they make a brilliant feature to draw attention to pathways and pavements in then space. They also serve the practical purpose of providing shade and, with closed roof varieties, shelter from the elements.
Usually rectangular or circular, free standing pergolas as the name suggests stand alone without being connected to your home or any other architectural elements. Aside from making wonderful decorative features, they can be used to encapsulate a patio or decking space at the bottom of the garden, away from the house, creating a cosy den to doze while shaded from the sun.
These types of pergolas can also be used to provide a decorative shelter for other things such as hot tubs and swimming pools.
As this kind of pergola is attached to your house, or other type of garden structure such as a summerhouse or wall. It only requires half the amount pillars to the support the overhead beams compared to freestanding versions, which can make them a little cheaper to build.
These types of pergola work particularly well to blend inside and outside space, when tied with a set of sliding/bi-folding patio doors. Using the same stone paving for the patio space beneath the pergola as your home’s interior, allows for a seamless transition between the two areas, creating a sense of flow.
This kind of pergola looks particularly stunning, when wrapped with climbing plants or to make it look truly magical in the evenings outdoor safe fairy lighting. However, you should consider the material choice and style wisely to ensure that you pick a pergola that compliments or accentuates your home’s aesthetics.
While most conventional pergolas primarily serve the practical purpose of providing shade, contemporary gardens can benefit from a more abstract decorative pergola such as the one featured at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in the picture above.
Here, a series of simple pine beams run in an almost geometric pattern around the garden. This serves to frame the entire landscape and accent the key focal points such as the matching seating area at the far end.