Create the perfect pergola

Pergola Plants

Every year at Crown Gardens we can bank on one thing (even during a pandemic) – people go DIY crazy at Easter time. And we’re here for it.

Over the last year we’ve all spent a lot more time in our gardens and spent a lot more money on them. This Easter, we’re expecting much of the same so we want to inspire you with some garden glow ups that will help you really get the most out of your garden in 2021 and beyond.

We’re thinking Pergolas.  Now that lockdown has lifted slightly, one of the first places you’ll be able to meet your loved ones and cherished friends is in your garden. If you invest in creating a pergola you’ll have the perfect space to spend quality time, sit back with a glass of wine and laugh with the people you’ve missed.

Think about your frame

Pergolas come in all shapes, sizes and materials. So spend a little time thinking about the space in your garden and what shape and materials would work well. Shapes like octagon and hexagon nestle nicely into corners, but rectangles and squares can make great additions to existing patio spaces.

When it comes to materials, most people opt for wooden frames as they blend much better in a garden landscape. But that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. You can choose to paint your frame a bright, bold colour if you want it to stand out. Make sure you choose a wood that is ready to paint if you’d like to do this.

After considering your shape and frame, think carefully about your roof. Do you want one? Some people opt for no roof and create a beautiful climbing oasis for plants, but you can also opt for colourful canvas, plastic, natural reed or wood. These are perfect if you want a little sun or wet weather protection.

Climbing plants

Pergolas are the ultimate climbing frame for fragrant blooms or vines. Relaxing on spring days, surrounded by sumptuous scented plants takes your pergola to the next level.

Jasmine and Jasminoides make great climbers and are easy to maintain. Their fragrant flowers and hardy nature make them the perfect plant to wind around your pergola frame. Clematis, or Queen of the Climbers as it is commonly called, is another great choice for a climbing plant. You can choose varieties that bloom twice a year for extra colour or ones that can be grown in containers if you don’t have anywhere suitable for planting.

If you want to create a plant-based roof for your pergola, then grapevines make a fantastic natural canopy. They require a little more looking after than other climbers, but if you get it right then you’ll be the envy of your friends with a Mediterranean-feel pergola. If this is too much to maintain, then don’t forget honeysuckle. Honeysuckle has fragrant flowers and thick, green plumage that provides great coverage.  

If you want to explore all your options, then the Royal Horticultural Society has a great guide for choosing climbing plants for your pergola.

Sort your seating

Sometimes it can be worth considering what you want to use your pergola area for as it can inform your shape choices. Dining areas tend to be longer, more rectangular in shape, but you could always opt for a round shape to suit a round table.

Using your pergola for outside dining can make for romantic dinners at dusk and lively family occasions, but if you want a more relaxed, lounging area then you can consider outside seating options. Long loungers, outdoor sofa sets and relaxing swing seats can make your pergola a cosy space for cuddling up and having a hot cup of coffee or somewhere to enjoy a summer cocktail out of the intense heat.

However you choose to design and use your pergola, it will give you hours of pleasure. Add an outdoor rug for extra comfort and some sparkly lights for a magical evening feel and you won’t want to go back inside.