Traditionally pergolas are timber structures which combine trellis and overhead climbing plants to create shade and shelter for outdoor living. But these days the definition is much less defined. Steel framing is popular choice and roofs can be constructed from a variety of materials.
Gazebos provide a covered space away from the house where you can eat, relax and party with friends. A nicely designed gazebo makes for a charming garden and can act as a focal point for the rest of your landscaping.
Location and design
North-facing pergolas maximise sun all year round. Position your pergola away from trees and other shading structures and you’ll get even more sun but be sure to check with your local council on restrictions which may limit the positioning of your pergola.
Size will depend on the purpose of pergola. If you are using your pergola for entertaining purposes, try laying out your outdoor furniture and barbeque in the designated space to ensure that the covered size meets your lifestyle requirements.
If you want to use your gazebo for dining, it’s a good idea to position it close to the kitchen to avoid long, plate-laden walks. As with pergolas, shading is an important consideration – try to determine the impact that surrounding trees will have on sunlight reaching the area.
- Provides relief from the sun in hot climates and in the case of a pergola, can act as a filter stage between the elements and your house. However, if you want some sun it may provide too much shade.
- Lets you easily match your pergola or gazebo roof with your home. Available in a variety of colours.
- Extremely durable and easy to maintain.
- Comes clear or tinted, making it ideal for areas that need full shelter but also need to maximise the light entering into the space.
- Lightweight and durable.
- Effectively blocks out UV radiation.
- Can be noisy in the rain – although some people like the splatter sound on the roof.
Timber trellis and deciduous climbers
- Gives a natural, earthy look to an outdoor area. Weaved foliage casts shadows of dappled light and adds textural interest to an outdoor space.
- During summer, the leafy climbers (often wisteria) provide excellent shade.
- The plant’s leaves fall in winter, allowing more light in to the space.
- Can be stained or painted to suit your outdoor theme. It is recommended that any timber used for a pergola or gazebo is treated.
- Climbers can be weaved through lattice to create dappled shade.
- Often used as screens and decorative panels, lattice separates the pergola space from the rest of the outdoor space.
- Lattice screens also enhance privacy and hide unsightly views whilst letting the air partially flow in.
- Adds an exotic touch to your garden.
- Available in modular form, allowing easy installation.