Have you ever considered adding a pergola to your garden? You might be surprised how many people already have. There are some significant benefits to having a pergola as a key feature in your garden, as we’ll shortly see. We’ve also considered some of the practicalities of installing them below.
Why invest in a garden pergola?
A pergola is basically a large structure – either square or oblong – that can be placed in many parts of a garden. For example, some people use them to finish a patio area, while others use them to mark out a spot where one area of the garden leads into a different one.
There are some more unusual shapes available though. The Hartwood Radial Pergola is a great example of how a pergola can be positioned in a corner. Designed as one-quarter of a circle, the pergola is sure to catch the eye, and it gives you the ability to create a focal point – or a hideaway, perhaps – in a corner of your garden that wouldn’t otherwise be used.
Some come with side panels included, while other people get creative and use material to create a canopy over the top. This is a good idea if you’re placing the pergola on a decked area, or over paving stones to create a dining area.
The structure also allows for the easy establishment of climbing plants up and over the pergola. Over time, this will create a natural canopy that provides a shaded area underneath to enjoy. If you have a large garden, you could even put several pergolas next to each other, so you can create a covered walkway from one area to another.
How to install a pergola
The best method for installing it is to follow the same guidance you would for installing fence panels if you are using wooden posts. Since the four posts of the pergola are wooden, they will last much longer if they are sunk into concrete in the ground. While you can dig out a hole and put them straight in the soil, they will eventually rot. It makes sense, therefore, to take a little longer and to cement them in for a firm and reliable base.
The easier option is to use spiked posts. These are hammered into the ground in the appropriate places, and you then secure the posts of the pergola into the top of the fixing posts.
Of course, it does depend where you are going to place the pergola. If you are going to put it on top of decking, you will need to attach it to that. The same goes for a concrete base. These will require a bolt-down fixing post. It looks a lot like a regular fence post but you will see a large flat plate at the bottom with a hole in each corner. This allows you to bolt it down and then insert the posts of the pergola into those posts.
Choosing the best pergola design for your garden
This is largely a matter of personal taste, so it’s good to know there are lots of options around. Take the classic look of the Hartwood Large Supreme Pergola Kit, for example. This is solidly built and is available in five sizes, thus enabling you to choose the right one for the space you have.
If you’re intending on using the pergola to define a dining area, the Hartwood Dining Pergola With Panels has been created with just this in mind. It has a slatted area on either side of the more open area in the centre of the roof, while each of the longer sides also has a slatted area. this is a more modern design, and allows for greater versatility with climbing plants, too.
Conversely, if you’re looking to add a decking area as well, why not do both things at once? The Hartwood Supreme Pergola and Patio Decking Kit solves the issue, enabling you to build a large decked area with a pergola across one side. The decking is also fenced in around three sides, enabling you to position it wherever you like, and to create a nice cosy area, too.
How will you use your pergola?
Having a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your pergola, as well as where you will position it, makes it far easier to choose the right size and style for your needs. Take a few measurements in your garden, consider what you want to do with it and how you will use it, and you should find it much easier to pick the right one.
Once installed, you might wonder why you didn’t invest in a stunning pergola before. It provides structure, appeal, and versatility in every garden, from the largest to the smallest.