Pergolas might appear to be one of the latest trends in garden design, but did you know that they date as far back as the 1400s? They were commonly seen throughout Europe and often used as a way to provide shade from the hot weather. It’s sometimes referred to as an arbor, but an arbor is actually more of a garden archway or doorway whereas the pergola can be an archway, a room, and even a walkway.
Whether you plan to add a modern structure with a billowing canopy or you have dreams of wisteria gently swaying under your pergola, there are plenty of pergola ideas to suit every garden.
Read on for some modern pergola designs that are sure to bring your gardening fantasies alive.
1. Patio Pergola Ideas
Can you put a pergola on your patio? Of course! Pergolas make a wonderful cover for your outdoor living spaces and will provide you with plenty of dappled shade. Building your structure on the patio will in fact cut down your construction time as you won’t need to make a brand new base.
If you get a lot of sunshine and you plan to entertain on your patio, then you may need to consider additional shading as part of your structure. Modern pergola designs can range from traditional wood to metal or a mixture of different materials.
Typical pergola styles feature classic lattice rafters and side paneling. For the quintessential English garden, try painting it all in white and add in some flowering climbers like roses, wisteria, or clematis.
Modern pergolas on the other hand are often a mix of different materials like wood and metal. Stick with a structure that has clean lines for a modern aesthetic. Roof beams are also generally kept within the frame for that contemporary look.
2. Pergola Walkway
Turn a path into a feature with multiple arches and a lattice top to form a pergola-style walkway. Often found in gardens around Europe, the pergola walkway is generally covered in ivy or grapevines and a pleasure to walk through.
Keep modern pergola designs for garden paths simple by placing bold archways along the length. Metal structures make for a striking look that will draw attention to the pathway with style.
Adding different heights to your landscaping through a mix of planting and structures will add interest and visual balance to your backyard.
3. Waterproof Pergola Roof Ideas
Not everyone lives in a hot climate, so for those that are blessed with rain most of the year, a cover is an essential add-on for a pergola. A tightly woven canvas is a great option if you don’t want to completely block out the light. It’s perfect for providing shade and diffused lighting whilst also being completely waterproof.
But for those that still want the option of an open pergola, a retractable canopy is a better option. This type of canopy is attached to a track that’s on top of the pergola and can be manually pulled forward to fully protect the roof from the rain.
For something a little simpler, a slide-on wire canopy is perfect to shield against the odd shower in the summer months.
4. Archway Pergola
Use “miegakure”, a Japanese landscaping technique that’s about hiding and showing parts of the garden to make it seem bigger. Practice miegakure with an archway pergola to help you add some mystery and intrigue to your outdoor space. It can make a wonderful doorway that leads into other areas of the garden like a mini patio or a secret garden.
Add in a climbing plant on the frame and a couple of large planters on either side to complete the look. Incorporating plenty of flowers and plants is key here to blend the pergola archway in with the rest of your garden.
5. Porch Space Inspiration
A pergola doesn’t have to be a freestanding structure at all. Add in a pergola roof that extends from your home’s wall to create an open-air porch.
The house can sometimes appear too much like a stand-alone structure from the rest of the landscape, which is where the pergola comes in. It can help blend the house in with the rest of your landscape, and connect different parts of the house together.
Cold weather shouldn’t stop you from spending time out on your porch, and the pergola makes the perfect structure to add on some outdoor heating. Some of the most effective patio heaters can be discretely attached to the beams of the pergola and will ensure that you stay warm in the colder months.
6. Cozy Corner
Small gardens can also benefit from adding a mini pergola that’s half enclosed to keep things cozy. Try covering two sides of the pergola with panels to create a comfy corner while leaving the rest open. Then finish off with a couple of garden sofas tucked into the corner for when you need some respite from the hot afternoon sun.
Looking for something that’s a little more fun? Then try adding a bed swing to your pergola for a whimsical touch. You’ll need to make sure that the structure is strong enough to carry the extra weight of the swinging bed though. But once it’s been set up, it makes for a wonderful way to spend the day as you drift off to la-la land.
Ready to Build Your Dream Garden?
What makes the pergola one of the most popular garden pieces is how versatile it is. You can make the design fit into any space and there are wonderful designs that suit all budgets. Its simplicity in design and construction make it a timeless piece that will last for a long time in your outdoor living space.
Need someone to help you bring your pergola ideas to life? Then speak with one of our experienced team members today who are here to fully support your landscape design needs.