What is the point of having a pergola?

pergola at night with lighting

Pergolas and Landscapes

Pergola.  That is a funny-sounding word to many people, but to a landscape designer, it is the crown of a beautifully landscaped yard where they have an endless means of pergola ideas for decorating. The word itself comes from Latin origin and refers to a projecting eave. Pergolas are often confused with a gazebo which is something different. A pergola vs gazebo is made with three differences in the visual structures. A gazebo is typically octagonal or round with a roof. A pergola is rectangular or square with cross beams instead of a roof.  

A pergola is designed into a backyard garden with pillars and vertical posts that create a passageway, a shaded walkway, or a seating area. There are different pergola ideas, each made with sturdy open-style lattice with trained flowery or wooded vines intertwined throughout. Some pergola examples may be in the backyard of a home, a public park, or at a wedding venue, where pergola ideas are plentiful in decorating for the bride and groom to exchange their vows. While they are manmade, they are usually designed to blend in with the natural setting around them, with some homeowners choosing to do pergola staining

What do you do with a pergola?

Pergolas date back to Latin times centuries ago, they aren’t anything new, but they have re-surged in popularity. Their original pergola ideas were for gardens for grapes and other vines to climb, and for walkways. 

Today, a pergola is likely to be a backyard feature that forms a shaded passage, sitting area, or walkway. They have pillars and vertical posts to support the crossbeams and open framework. We design patio, pergola and deck ideas with the purpose of providing us shade, or simply to offer a framed design or add architectural height designs in a certain area with various pergola ideas.

What is a pergola with a roof called?

The structure of a pergola traditionally is with a crossbeam or lattice. Similar outdoor structures with roofing would be a gazebo or pavilion. A pergola is not meant to provide shelter, only an open shading that may or may not have flowers, greenery, vines intertwined on and throughout the beams or lattice.

Does a pergola provide shade?

At first glance, a pergola may appear unfinished as it does not have an attached, solid roof. However, they do offer some shade based on the size and spacing of the crossbeams. Pergola idea will not include having full shade.

What do you cover a pergola with?

The pergola ideas and options are endless when it comes to customizing design. They are intended to be low maintenance, which is the only issue that will limit what is used to cover a pergola. 

Some pergola ideas include curved pergolas, giving a hint to the pergola is leaning and incorporated into the surrounding masonry. Other pergola ideas include creating a temporary shade by adding a light fabric for the roof and/or the sides. 

pergola on deck

How do you hang lights on a pergola?

There is nothing more inviting than an ambient glow of string lights on a pergola. Of all the pergola ideas, this is a favorite for most. Whether you have them for a special occasion or you leave them up, it is a warm welcoming setting. To create one of the many pergola ideas that include stringing lights is easy with the right tools. Or hiring a contractor with experience is always an option, often your landscape design professional can do this for you.

First, you want to use a tension wire for support for your string lights. Determine secure anchor points for the strands, which can be your porch, nearby trees, or an umbrella stand.  Most pergola ideas with lights, the strands start inside the pergola and you work outward. At the roof corner, attach the tension wire with the strand of lights and go across the yard, securing it to a firmly planted pole that is camouflaged by flowers and/or green shrubbery, depending on your pergola ideas for decorating. Measure the distance your pergola ideas are to determine the number of light strands you will need. 

Making a loop with the tension wire on one end, using wire clamps attach the loop to the anchor point and using a screw hook, attach to the pergola roof. Run part of the light strands inside the pergola top and then hang the light strands from the wire, attaching with cable wires. If you choose to do install your own pergola strand lights, never run the cords, light strands or wire across the ground and hang them high enough that your guests won’t hit their head. Check the instructions and packaging the strand lights you purchase are for outdoor use and if there are any precautions of leaving them in the weather. The pergola ideas are as limited as your mind, resources, and space, and a professional landscape designer can assist you with your idea or offer you others. Dial (817) 506-7722 today for quality pergola staining from Pro Seal Restoration in Fort Worth and Arlington, TX.