A pergola is an architectural garden feature that makes a shaded sitting area or walkway. It consists of vertical posts that support cross-beams which make a sturdy framework to support woody vines. I have always loved pergolas and gazebos. When we were building our English Cottage Garden in place of a back yard my husband wanted to know what kinds of things I would like to have in that space. I told him that I would LOVE to have a pergola with climbing roses growing over it. He said, “Okay draw me a sketch of what you would like.” He is so awesome, he built one for our Cottage Garden, just by using my sketch!
First he built a wooden deck that was 12′ x 12′ square and was raised off of the ground by concrete deck blocks. Then he built the pergola frame with four 4 x 4 posts in the corners and built a 2 x 4 wooden framework for the top. He use a 2 x 6 as the center board across the top because it would need to hold the weight of a wooden porch swing. Avi used 1 x 1 boards to screen the sides, just a bit. You can see the porch swing in this photo and it was one of my favorite places to sit in the garden.
We planted four New Dawn climbing rose bushes at each corner. As they grew we trained them to wrap around the corner support posts. Within just a four years the transformation was amazing. The roses completely covered the framework!
The New Dawn variety is a very fast grower. The blossoms don’t have much of a fragrance but each one has several shades of pink. Here are some of those beautiful blooms.
I wish I had a photo of the pergola finished without the plantings but we weren’t very good at remembering to take photos back then.
This is a photo of everything in bloom four years later. This would have been June because that is when most rose bushes would get their huge blush of blooms.
In the distance you can see delphiniums blooming, and the cherry red apple scented roses that grew over the trellis at our back gate entrance.
I love plants and flowers and gardening. I so enjoy being outside as much as possible. This garden and the pergola were like having an outdoor living room and I spent as much time as possible there.
Well that is our pergola and to me it was picture perfect. I loved the way it turned out and I do miss it a lot. In future posts, I will write about how we built the garden and what types of roses and plants we had growing there.
Do you like to garden? What types of flowers and plants do you grow there? Do you have a pergola, gazebo or arbor? Please share with us.