Your patio and garden are the basic elements of an outdoor living space. But to create a truly relaxing spot beyond your patio door the gardens and structures need to be built up. The ancient Greeks and Romans knew this and designed beautiful outdoor spaces of all different sizes that included arbors, trellises, and the most impressive outdoor structure of all, the pergola. Imagine how amazing your home will look with this piece of classic architecture in view from the window.
What Exactly Is a Pergola?
Pergolas are built using three or more support posts with beams running between them, creating dappled shade– lines or strips of shadow that break up the intense sun of summer. It makes for a structure that is ideal for growing vines and climbing roses. The beams can be scalloped and shaped for decorative appeal. You can also design pergolas of differing heights to interconnect for a unique overhead feature that creates a luxurious and intimate feeling.
In its most simple form a pergola will create only dappled shade. But with vines and plants growing over top of the structure you can easily create a visually attractive backyard feature.
Benefits of This Outdoor Structure
Including a pergola in your yard will give you certain bragging rights and help your home to stand out from the neighbor’s. Not everyone on the block can boast of having a life size and tasteful piece of classic art on their property. Garden structures such as these have been used in the gardens of the aristocracy and even royalty for centuries. Today many high end tropical resorts include them around the beaches and pools.
Pergolas will help you enjoy more time in the yard during the heat of summer. The space underneath this structure will be cooler thanks to the dappled shade. In desert areas, misters can be attached to the pergola to cool things down even further.
Any vines or greenery growing up or around it will add to better air quality and a beautiful view. Some homeowners include a solid covering under or over their pergola, such as a standalone canvas awning or sheets of fiberglass that will create solid shade while still showing off the shape of the structure.
Even in the cold winter months pergolas create an intriguing setting on the patio. Professionals know how important it is to design your yard so that the view from your kitchen or family room window is beautiful all year round. Decorate the beams and support posts for the holidays and increase the curb appeal of your property in any season with a well designed and quality built pergola.
Gardeners love the opportunities that pergolas deliver for a more vertical garden. And smaller pergolas can be used as arbors for walkways and to create stunning entrances.
Details of Construction and Optional Accessories
Pergolas come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are triangular, while others are rectangular, square and even include curves or odd angles. They can be incorporated into an existing deck railing or built on their own in the yard or garden.
Most are built with wood, but composite building materials (similar to those used with composite decks and fences) can be used for a maintenance free solution. Additional coverings are generally made from something lightweight and removable, so that the traditional appeal of a pergola can be enjoyed along with full shade.
The sides of a pergola are generally left open since the roof is also open. Roll down screens could be used at the ends of the pergola to provide added coverage. These structures can also be installed over a window to create a cooler temperature inside the home.
Any way that you design them, pergolas are an excellent addition to your outdoor living space. They create shade, support vines and are a beautiful example of classic architecture.
For information about a different type of outdoor structure, read Consider the Benefits of a Gazebo in Your Garden.