Pergola Designs

Take one part rustic, add two parts twigs and branches; combine well for character and charm

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Pergola designs can range from sophisticated to rustic.

Most garden pergola designs will match the style of the home, outbuildings and garden, often made from wood, but sometimes wrought iron or cedar pergolas will blend into the existing landscaping.


Building a pergola starts with deciding on a pergola design, and the needs of your family.  What does that mean exactly? 

Well, you might need a peaceful spot for recuperating from a busy lifestyle and recharge your batteries in tranquility and quiet solitude. 

Your teens may need a private spot to chat, talk on the phone, or do homework. 

Young children might appreciate a sandbox, playhouse or paved area to ride a tricycle on close by.  All these functions can be taken into account when you design your rustic pergola.

What is a Pergola?

A garden pergola is best considered a canopy from the sun and a place for scrambling vines to cover, where it’s comfortable for a seating area for relaxation.

Usually it covers a patio or wide walkway, with both ends open for entry and exit. Some pergola designs simply create a focal point or archway from one part of the garden to another.

A pergola is different from a gazebo or trellis, combining some of the best features of each.

Usually consisting of several upright poles with thinner poles over top as a roof, it can be freestanding or attached to a building for support.

Either way, it acts as a defining focal point, as an entry or exit where the stroller can pause and reflect, and as a support for flowering vines.

What kind of paving will you choose?What kind of paving will you choose?

Flooring can be flagstone, concrete, soil cement or patio blocks.

Honeysuckle, roses and clematis are typically used on a garden pergola utilizing their habit of seeking to be closer to the sun eventually completely shading the area below.

Rustic pergola designs built from twigs, branches or driftwood suit a primitive country garden.

Dimension lumber, ideally cedar or redwood are the prime materials for a more formal pergola in a sophisticated setting.

Metal such as wrought iron can be exquisite as the vines almost completely cover the fragile seeming structure.

A pergola is the perfect spot for a scrambling vine to climb, and a shaded area for morning coffee or an alfresco meal.

Whatever your pergola design, make it so it matches and complements the rest of your garden – I’ve seen some real eyesores that show no compassion or empathy and no cohesion of style to the style of the house, buildings or environs.

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