Medici Villa vineyard – 15th century pergolas still in use today
Pergolas have changed a great deal since the time of their invention, and this was quite a while ago. The earliest surviving garden plan we have found dates back to 1400 BC. The garden belonged to an Egyptian court official, and he chose to construct a pergola at the entrance to it.
The word comes from the Italian pergula, which means a kind of projecting eave, most likely originally added for extra shelter. They evolved into a kind of shopfront or trading structure, and went through many more stages to arrive at the multipurpose structure we refer to as the modern pergola.
The word pergola was not recorded until the 1640’s, when it was used to describe the structures Italians were using to shore up their grape vines.
I don’t have grape vines
The blank slate
Its most basic function is to delineate an area as separate from another, and in its most simple form this is four posts and some roof beams. Sounds boring? Not at all! This simple structure, this blank slate, can become any of a dozen different rooms in your own garden. You can’t get much more versatile than that.
As I’ve said before, using your square footage to maximum advantage is in everyone’s best interests, and a pergola is an excellent way of doing that, while adding some extra value to your home in the process.
Sounds great! What do I do?
In short, whatever you like. Do you like to entertain friends? Make a lounge room. Fancy yourself as a whiz in the kitchen? You can construct the most amazing outdoor cooking space. The materials to construct the basic shape are cheap and easy to come by, and it can be erected quite easily by your local landscaper. So, let me show you what’s possible.
Relax in style
A few chairs and a cozy fire pit gives you all the comforts of home
For the past ten years the global incidence of vitamin D deficiency has risen remarkably, mostly due to people not getting enough sun. Another problem that a pergola can solve for you! Imagine relaxing in your own outdoors in style – a few drinks, good company and fresh air. If the weather is cold in your area, consider installing a fire pit as well. This small addition will enable you to extend the use of your pergola into the winter months if you choose.
But it’s too windy
No problem. You can attach a trellis to the sides of your pergola, and train plants up it for a windbreak. You could plant a tall windbreak on the appropriate side of your pergola. You can purchase zip up plastic walls and insect screens that will install in no time. You can even use sumptuous UV stabilized fabric for a very grand look indeed. There is no reason not to get a pergola and use it, and so many good reasons why you should.
I’ll get sunburned
Pergola with wind break and shade sail
Not if you’re smart. If situated with care, the roof beams of a pergola can provide adequate shade in areas where the sun stays relatively low in the sky. The beams can also be slanted to maximize this effect.
Or you could put a roof on. Shade sail, corrugated plastic sheeting, gorgeous growing vines – there are many options. Imagine enjoying a wine in your pergola with the scent of Jasmine floating around you, its leaves shading you. Beautiful.
Go Al Fresco
BBQ by the pool, anyone?
But instead of just eating outside, why not cook outside as well? There are styles to cater to every class of cook, from the standard barbeque to a realistic chef’s kitchen. Many of these styles can be combined with others to create the perfect outdoor space for you. Pergolas are just made to be beside your pool – and why not bring the kitchen out too. You can relax while you watch the kids, and hubby can cook lunch. Or why not make a whole day of it and turn it into dinner.
Intimate or grand?
Add a few chairs, some friends, and yummy wood oven pizza- what could be better? And the oven doubles as the perfect heat source
You can make it whatever you want. From an intimate dinner for two to a banquet for many, a pergola can fulfill all your requirements. All it requires is installation of an appropriate outdoor kitchen, and some cooking skills.
And for the adventurous…
And last, but definitely not least, for the romantic and adventurous out there is the opportunity to make a truly grand and luxurious statement.
Some luxurious bedding, drapes around the sides and solar led lighting and you have a stunning outdoor four poster bed
For the warmer nights there is the outdoor bedroom.
You can choose to relax there during the day, or live a little and spend the whole night. Or three. Let the kids spend the night out, knowing they are safe and within easy reach just in case.
Three delightful outdoor rooms under one roof
Contact your local landscape supplier for ideas and plans. They will be able to point you toward suitable materials and structures for your area and budget.
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