Pergolas are an attractive and versatile addition to a garden. They're a great way to add an architectural focal point to an otherwise featureless space and provide a classical and romantic beauty which can transform your garden. If you're planning to have a pergola built in your garden, then here are three ideas that can help to make it a very special addition to your home.
1. Climbing plants
Building a pergola offers you a chance to enjoy a peaceful and shaded place to sit and enjoy your garden. Climbing plants are ideally suited for growing around a pergola and will use the structure to create a leafy and tranquil arbor. Fragrant plants such as Jasmine, fruiting passionfruit vines or pretty wisteria are all excellent choices.
You can ask your pergola builder to create small garden beds at the base of each support post. You can grow the plants from decorative pots placed around the perimeter of the pergola.
2. A covered roof
Although pergolas traditionally have an open roof, covering it over will help to create an all-weather space that you can enjoy whatever the season. You can also opt to add a partial cover so that you can enjoy the traditional look but still have a sheltered space to retreat to if the weather is inclement.
Covering a pergola can be as simple as adding some perspex sheeting. This will still allow the space to receive natural light. If your budget allows it, you can also have a retractable or shutter-style cover added to your pergola. This way you can have full control over the amount of light and shelter you pergola provides at any time.
3. Paved flooring
Many pergolas are built on a concrete slab or directly onto the ground. Concrete slabs are fairly unsightly and bare dirt will need to be covered with pebbles to avoid creating a mud pit during wet weather. Sometimes, bare dirt can be covered with small pebbles or bark, but these too can be soggy and unappealing during wet weather.
A better option is to pave the flooring area. Paving can be added on top of a concrete slab or simply laid directly onto a level, dirt surface. A paved floor with adequate drainage will be more practical during wet weather and also looks very attractive. It will help to create the feel of a proper outdoor living space instead of just a basic garden structure.
It's best to incorporate these features during the planning stages of your pergola construction. Talk to your pergola builder about your ideas so they can ensure your pergola is a practical and beautiful feature in your garden.