Last Updated: September 18, 2017
I don’t know about you, but when I see a pergola, I’m immediately reminded of the Mediterranean. Easy and breezy, open and airy, covered in vines . . . But although they’re undoubtedly beautiful, do pergolas really provide much shade? Can they help define your space? Why would you choose to purchase a pergola over, say, a covered deck or an awning? Believe us when we say that a pergola is more than just a pretty face. If you’ve ever wondered what a pergola could offer you, your family, your home, or your yard, scroll down, because today we’re discussing the many benefits of a pergola.
Benefits of a Pergola
First, before we dig into the many benefits of a pergola, let’s discuss the structure and purpose of this architectural feature. A pergola is an archway commonly found in gardens, parks, and yards. It consists of a framework of vertical posts or pillars that typically support crossbeams and an open lattice ceiling. Oftentimes, the posts and lattice of the pergola support climbing plants.
Sometimes pergolas are confused with arbors. Though similar to pergolas, arbors are typically smaller and simpler in structure, and they may contain a bench seat. They frequently bear curved arches at the top, and they are often freestanding or attached to a fence. Pergolas, on the other hand, are larger, open in structure, typically flat, and often attached to homes or buildings. Since some people use the terms arbor and pergola interchangeably, it is important that you carefully review these types of products before purchasing.
If you select a product that combines beauty and durability with function and affordability, you’re sure to enjoy the many benefits of a pergola, including all of the following:
1. Pergolas are beautiful.
Let’s start with the obvious: beauty. Pergolas have a unique beauty that surpasses that of most standard awnings. They have a very sculptural and architectural design, and they can help create visual interest in an otherwise basic backyard. Many different styles of pergolas are available, ranging from simple, modern designs to ornate, elaborate, and elegant structures. Plus, pergolas are well-loved by gardeners, because they provide a medium for displaying the beauty of plants. Speaking of which . . .
2. Pergolas lend plants a helping hand.
Not only are pergolas beautiful on their own, but they can also lend support to other lovely landscaping features like climbing flowers, vines, and ivy. Plant these flowers and vines in the right place, and they’ll weave their way up the pergola’s supports and through the roof-like beams. Consider plants like wisteria, clematis, or even grape vines! You can also hang planters from the beams. Imagine a vast pergola teeming with clambering vines and colorful flowers. In addition to adding vertical interest to your landscaping, this can provide a valuable visual link between your home and your garden.
Plus, climbing plants generally require very little help to wind their way up the posts of a pergola and clamber across the lattice. If you tie them onto vertical wires attached to the posts, they will typically climb readily up the structure on their own. Research your options a bit beforehand to ensure you can give your chosen plant the support it needs. Roses and wisteria, for example, do require more assistance with climbing than other plants.
3. Pergolas define spaces.
A pergola can help define your outdoor space. Plus, because pergolas are open and airy, you can accomplish this without making the space feel smaller or more confined. Typically the ground under the pergola is topped with some sort of flooring, whether that’s brick flooring, concrete pavers, or even a deck. When you combine the flooring with the pergola’s pillars and beams, you can further define your outdoor living space.
4. Pergolas provide shade.
Although they look somewhat unfinished to the untrained eye, pergolas do provide shade. The size of the beams and their spacing will determine exactly how much shade is provided, though a pergola on its own can never create a fully-shaded space. There are pros and cons to this. Although you aren’t receiving full shade, for example, you are able to see the sky and view the stars at night. If you would like the space to be fully shaded, just add a fabric cover to the beams. You can also add shade to your pergola by installing a climbing plant with thick, lush leaves and blossoms.
5. Pergolas are affordable.
If you want to amp up your outdoor space without spending a lot of money, a pergola might be the perfect solution. Pergolas are inexpensive and easy to build, but they have a big impact on your yard, especially if you add climbing flowers or other plants. Although some options cost more than others, you can undoubtedly find an economical, beautiful, and durable pergola that fits your budget.
6. Pergolas are durable and low maintenance.
Let’s focus on vinyl pergolas for a moment. If you choose a vinyl product, you won’t have to worry about maintenance or deterioration. Vinyl pergolas don’t chip, peel, splinter, warp, rot, fade, or become discolored. Unlike wood pergolas, they aren’t susceptible to termites and other wood-boring insects, and they don’t require annual staining or frequent maintenance. Plus, they aren’t treated with harmful chemicals, making them safe for your family and the environment.
You can’t dispute the benefits of a pergola. Whether you want to define a portion of your yard, add shade, or create a beautiful attraction full of climbing plants and flowers, you can rely on a pergola. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, so you can find the perfect product for your yard.
If you’re in the market for a new pergola, be sure to check out the selection available at MMC Fencing & Railing. Our Shade Solutions product line includes a number of beautiful, resilient, and very low-maintenance pergolas. Plus, because these pergolas are vinyl, you won’t have to worry about them chipping, peeling, splintering, warping, rotting, or fading. For more information, please check out the MMC Fencing & Railing online store or give us a call at 1-866-931-5002.