Landscaping with a Pergola
Pretty As a Picture
A subtle shift in height offers visual variety to a pergola.
With a site close to the house, wiring for electricity may be easier; here, a wire running from the house provides power to lights hung at strategic locations.
If most of the area underneath a pergola is paved, containers can offer a good growing spot for plants
Varying roof heights in a pergola can define outdoor spaces. Here, a lower section indicates a transition to more open space in a yard.
If a pergola is intended for climbing vines, smaller openings or structural elements should be included in order to allow the plants room to ramble.
Pergolas can also be integrated with other hardscape elements; two of this structure's corners provide edge pieces for kitchen areas.
A Pergola with Personality
An imposing pergola soars over its whimsically designed space.
Asymmetry can offer an interesting style counterpoint to a pergola; here, one side is open while another is bordered by a stretch of lattice fence.
Part sculpture, part light fixture, a massive overhead structure offers support for illumination and blooms.
Flowerbeds soften the geometric edges of the paved area under the pergola.
The back of the house provides a wall for the pergola and a spot for a bit of impromptu art, too.
Elevating a pergola and its paved surface up even just a bit gives the structure a distinct presence in the landscape.
An inventive use of an off-the-shelf material embellishes a pergola.
Most pergolas are made from wood, but unusual materials are a welcome design addition. Here, a random pattern of glass block adds visual variety.
Open squares in the wall provide a way for air to circulate under and through the pergola.
Small paving stones create a patio as well as elevate the wood structure off the ground.
Multiple entry points into the pergola direct circulation around and through the structure.
Beams and support pieces form a trellis that offers a bit of shade on sunny days.
A Natural Extension
A shed and a pergola go hand in hand.
Pergolas can be stand-alone or attached structures; this small-scale version extends off a charming wood garden shed.
Even compact pergolas can offer seating and open-air shelter; this concrete pad underfoot is perfect for a small table and chairs.
A pergola also offers visual relief to a building's facade; this one breaks up the front of the shed.
A pergola's design can be fairly simple -- here, the pergola is constructed from two 4x4s and eight 2x4s with decorative notches cut out of the ends.
If you don't plan on growing plants on the pergola, you will find it easier to refinish the structure later.
A pergola provides a place to catch some shut-eye.
Most pergolas are freestanding and usually separated from other structures. This one straddles a fence for a more nonchalant addition to a yard.
While not a part of the pergola, the fence functions as a back wall. Its curving top adds to the structure's carefree vibe.
Lush wisteria shields the pergola from above.
Many pergolas provide cover for a table or chairs. This one takes relaxation to a new level with a bed for unwinding.
Big hydrangea blooms soften the deck space under the pergola.
An undulating roof offers visual variety for a pergola.
Short intervals between roof materials equal more shade for the space underneath the pergola.
A gentle roof curve provides a departure from the typical horizontal cover of most pergolas.
Vines can be trained up columns, but tall, narrow evergreens offer a way to integrate greenery with the vertical elements.
To create quiet, secluded space, a border of plants on three sides separates the structure from the rest of the yard.
A simple running bond pattern of pavers provides a roomy seating space.
A Roof of Roses
A riotous collection of climbing roses adorns this pretty pergola.
If plants aren't intended for a pergola, painted wood poses less of a challenge. But if climbers will grow on and over the structure, consider a material such as composite wood that doesn't require repainting.
Prevent the base of the pergola from rotting, by placing beams and posts into concrete footers.
A variety of vertical and horizontal crosspieces dresses up the structure's sides.
Several entrance paths into the structure enable it to serve as a gateway to separate parts of the garden.
Lush growers such as this climbing rose need a sturdy support system: Make sure construction of the pergola can bear the plants' weight.
Functioning more as walkway than spot for repose, a pergola adds drama to a yard.
If a pergola backs up to a neighboring yard, enclose one side with trellis or another semi-transparent wall.
A pergola here bridges the space between the house and fireplace.
Centered on the trellised wall, a flowering window box adds a pop of color to the structure.
Pergolas work well on their own, but they also can add height to an outdoor space.
In addition to shielding views, the trellised section of the pergola provides a good spot for climbing vines.
A pergola's roof seems to take flight atop grand supports.
Contrasting construction and viewpoints from the four sides of this pergola offer a multitude of ways of experiencing the structure.
The pergola's back wall provides design inspiration for trellising.
Oversize beams balance the soaring roof.
A raised bed to one side supplies spur-of-the-moment seating.
No vines on the pergola's roof are needed, thanks to a large shade tree nearby.
Elegant elements dress up the simple design of this pergola.
Stately columns add classic style to this pergola.
If an overhead fixture is wired to electricity, have the on/off switch placed at a convenient access location.
Varying the paving material -- one pattern and size under the pergola, another variety in a nearby path -- helps the space from becoming a boring, uninterrupted block.
Trained up a nearby post, a wisteria covers the pergola in green and, during summertime, purple blooms.
A view toward a landscape isn't always necessary for a pergola. Here, one view casts an eye toward an impressive sloped wall with boulders, shrubs, and groundcover.