Pergolas and arches were traditionally used to separate different areas of a garden. A pergola is an open-concept structure built over some kind of entertaining area, typically a deck or patio. It will typically consist of a rooftop of open latticework or crossbeams supported by posts.
Pergolas are built to create some shade for outdoor relaxation, and provide a private, inviting space. They also bring a structural dynamic to the yard by framing a focal point and allowing the homeowner to build up. Pergolas can be stained or painted and can be used to grow vines. Vines or climbing plants will provide additional shade and beauty to the surroundings.
Pergolas are ideal for climbing edible plants such as grapes or tomatoes, as they provide structure to support the heavy plants while throwing shade on the area below. This is very important for hot climates.
Pergolas are great for summer entertaining. They leave open the possibilities of decorating with tapestries or tarp depending on the weather and your aesthetic tastes. The open-concept of the lattice or crossbeams allow for airflow and makes the pergola feel inviting, rather than oppressive.
Typically a deck will build off the house. A pergola can frame the deck and add a focal point in the backyard, as well as throw shade upon the house and keep it cool, protect interior furnishings from sun damage, and extend the garden.
Lumber is expensive to purchase, and without carpentry experience, a pergola would be impossible to design and cut all by oneself. Custom professional carpentry is also expensive, and the waiting lists can be quite long in the summertime.
If you are looking for a wooden pergola that can be installed with just a few steps, then try the Discovery Cedar Pergola. Measuring ten by twelve feet (it also comes in 10 x 10), the size of a standard bedroom, this cedar pergola comes with ready-to-assemble cedar pieces, pre-drilled holes, and all the necessary hardware. The assembly kit includes ground anchors as well as foot covers to hide them. The top beams are crossed by cedar lattice, lending itself to many decorating possibilities.
Building the pergola is a job for two or three people, and can be done in a single afternoon. The posts each come with two diagonal braces for holding the roof, and once it is anchored, it will withstand wind and rain.
Cedar is a very appealing wood; it has naturally warm, reddish tones, and can add quite a lot of character to your backyard.
Keep in mind that it is best to match your deck and pergola materials to the materials on your house, or to the other materials in the backyard (like the shed or fence).
Cedar produces a natural resin with a strong, spicy aroma that repels insects, such as mosquitoes. This can be very important when selecting your pergola; you want to create an outdoor space that is inviting, comfortable, and relatively unaffected by the elements.
The wood comes pre-stained, as it enhances the colour. However, cedar is softer than other woods, and gentle striations and natural cracks may be evident in the grain. Over time, these cracks will absorb water, and the cedar becomes prone to cracking and weathering. For this reason we highly recommend weather-proofing the pergola (this may be easier to do before it is assembled) using a weatherproof paint or stain. This extra step will lengthen the life of your pergola by years.
This gorgeous cedar pergola sells for around $1000.
Now you’ve decided on the pergola you want, you better start thinking about how to entertain guests beneath that glorious cedar beauty!
Ideas for a Pergola Party
- Attach a dowel rod with some fabric at one end of the pergola, that can act as a blind when the sun is setting
- Hang string lights along the lattice for a warm ambience
- Install climbing plants to provide afternoon shade for guests
- Suspend a chandelier and fill with tealights. Candles are an absolute necessity for an intimate outdoor setting
- Block out the sun with live foliage, bamboo, lattice, or fabric
- Hang curtains at each corner for a real VIP entertainment area
- Add a centre crossbeam and suspend a swing
Wooden structural elements add natural beauty to any yard. Pergolas leave lots of room for decorating and entertaining possibilities, from climbing roses to suspended planters; from a bamboo roof to an open-air concept. Pergolas allow for additional lighting and shelter at all times of the day. You can create a private getaway or a patio party. The eye naturally gravitates toward the pergola, for its sizable structure will create a gorgeous focal point, while providing some shelter and shade. Whether built over your deck or over another entertainment area in your yard, a pergola is a statement piece that will bring aesthetic and joy to your backyard experience. If you want to read more on canopy and gazebo options, you should take a look at our review of the best canvas canopy gazebos or our review of the best hardtop gazebos.