Arbours and Pergolas – Part 1

My garden is at the end of a short street. It is small but not quite as small as many of my neighbour’s gardens as it is tucked in one of the corners. My garden is ‘L’ shaped following two sides of my house and diagonally out to a corner. It has changed many times in the sixteen years I have gardened here. However, the biggest changes were made by the use of structures like pergolas and by vertical planting with small, I mean small, trees, bamboos and shrubs. My garden became one that you could walk through rather than see it all at a glance making it feel much bigger than it is. I know all the garden magazines and books say this but it does actually work.

How do you go about choosing and using a structure like an arbour? Well I would probably say get out and visit gardens that use them as much as the places like garden centres where you would buy them. Perhaps you will even get ideas there to build your own design. That’s what we did. I have an arch, a pergola arch and a pergola and each one was collaboration between my husband and I. We came up with our design based on my ideas and how he felt it would work practically – some negotiation was required of course!

Taking photographs at gardens and garden shows, I have always done – what gardeners don’t. There is a wealth of ideas and inspiration out there. However as I was browsing other blogging sites to add some more links to my side bar (I have added a number of new ones for 2008) I came across a posting about Arbours and Pergolas.

Gardening Gone Wild runs a monthly design workshop asking for others to get involved by posting on the feature of the month. The idea is to share ideas and photos so with Part 1 of my first contribution I will share photos I took while researching my own structures. I will post on my own garden in Part 2 at the end of the week as I will now need to research my photos pre digital camera which could take some time!

If you would like to take part once you have posted leave a comment on the post Arbours and Pergolas and from there you will be able to browse the other postings. Of course you don’t need to take part to browse. If you are considering a new garden project for 2008 you might just get some inspiration from these monthly design workshops or even a walk around your local neighbourhood and parks.

Finally, I know the black trellis above isn’t either a pergola or an arbour but it was located beside the two photos above it and I thought made a fantastic feature wall even without plants!

All photos above were taken on garden visits and garden shows.

12 thoughts on “Arbours and Pergolas – Part 1

  1. Many, many thanks for taking the time to put this post together, Shirl! With such a variety of settings and styles, the photos you’ve chosen supply a whole lot of inspiration in one place. I look forward to your next post on the subject, too.

  2. I always wonder what kind of wood is being used to make trellies as shown in your pictures. I still have some projects in my head which should be realized…some time or other…and I’d like to have a trelly too. I’ll certainly follow your posts on this subject. Thank you for inspiring!

  3. Your pics are lovely, Shirl. My arbors and pergolas post will have to be of other gardens, as I have none of those structures in my own. I look forward to seeing what you built in your garden next time.

  4. Hi there, Nan 🙂

    Thank-you! I am delighted to be able to take part this month. I also have to thank-you for coming up with such a great way of sharing ideas for our gardens and organising it each month. I hope many more people will contribute each month.

    I too am looking forward to Part 2 of my posting – this is going to be quite a trip down memory lane for me and likely to be a lengthy post 😀

  5. Hi again, Barbara and Pam 🙂

    Barbara – Thank-you! I will try and give details of the materials we used for our pergola in Part 2 of my posting. It was great building our own structures and fantastic to see how they tied the whole garden together 😀

    Pam – I have always enjoyed photographing structures in gardens but when I found myself looking for inspiration I began taking many more and from every angle too! Looking through these photos have brought many happy memories of days out. My structures are not as grand as those in the photos above but they have transformed my small garden as you will see in Part 2 😀

  6. Shirl, you do have a lot of beautiful inspiration on this post.

    I also have some pre-digital photos I will have to try to get on to my blog sometime soon.

    I haven’t been blogging long enough to have seen much of your garden so I am really looking forward to it.

  7. You’re absolutely right about vertical structure – that picture of the delphiniums and arbour are fab! I grew a mass of delphiniums along with verbena bonariensis last year – needless to say will continue on with that mix as it also works well! You were talking about getting inspiration for your own garden from visiting others – it’s where I get a lot of mine from too – there are some beautiful gardens in Brittany – they really go in for natural planting here which is wonderful!

    Off to enjoy the sunshine outside now.. whilst it lasts! Miranda

  8. I use a lot of arbours, arches, pergolas and other vertical stuff in the gardens I design too. That way you make good use of all the available space and it ads interest too. Lovely post&pics Shirl!

  9. Hi again, Lisa, Miranda and Yolanda 🙂

    Lisa – Yes, I really found these places very inspirational and it is great that I can share my photos. Ah the pre digi photos are so dull in comparison! As for my garden I haven’t posted that many full photos of it yet. I have said many times it is small so I hope it wouldn’t be a dissapointment. However it does show how much interst you can stuff into a small space. I may draw up a plan – only problem is we are expecting snow again today which may delay Part 2 of this post 😀

    Miranda – as I walked out today in the cold wind with my gloves on and think about the snow on its way today I thought of you out in the sunshine yesterday. Yes vertical is the only way to go with a small garden – with the plants too. Delphiniums and verbenia bonariensis now that does sound an intersting plant combination! I hope someone would mention that photo. If you are ever in the UK again you really must take a visit round this incredibly inspirational garden – for the sculptures and water features alone. This photo was taken of the Ornamental Garden at Alnwick Castle in Northumbria, UK. If you click on the panoramic view of the ornamental garden you will see the rest of the huge pergola structure that connects a number of beds. It was wonderful to walk through and the scale of the trained fruit trees on wires was fantastic 😀 Brittany with its gardens of natural planting sounds great to me – although I don’t blossom in hot temps 😀

    Yolanda – Yes, I have enjoyed seeing all the many structures of your garden in your garden tours – your use of obelisks too both with flowers and vegetables. I think perhaps vertical stuff is seen rather nervously by new gardeners but as you say it makes use of every available space and looks great into the bargain. Every garden should have some 😀

  10. Yes, this is great, Shirl…I now have even more ideas for my longsuffering spouse to build!
    I love the photo of the delphinium with the neatly clipped shrubs; not how I garden but I like the look elsewhere, that’s certain.

  11. What great sources of inspiration. I haven’t seen anything as interesting around here. I realized I needed an arbor & other structures to try to keep the whole garden from being seen at once. I won’t know whether I’ve succeeded until next summer, when the trellises & shrubs are covered in foliage. I remember commenting on 1 of your posts how much I liked your arbor. I can’t wait to see the others you have.

  12. Hi again, Jodi and Mr McGregor’s Daughter 🙂

    Jodi – I am glad I posted these photos too as I will enjoy looking back on them myself now. Part 2 is not quite ready for posting, my aim is at the latest my Sunday evening as it is lining up to be quite a lengthy post. My husband built three of our structures and as they are all quite different but modest in their design I plan to post details on how parts were constructed. Yes, the delphinium photo is great as was that whole garden. I agree though that you can like something but not necessarily want it in your own garden 😀

    Mr. McGregor’s Daughter – Having a camera with you when you go out is a great way of capturing inspiration and to share it in this way is a bonus! Yes, my structures were also used so you didn’t see the whole garden at once. I feel the key to their success is by planting tall plants near them as this then links in visually too – but that’s just the way I like to do it which you will see soon. Yes, I love the arbour you mentioned which was a bought as a flat pack which we built. Unfortunately we had such a wet summer last year it didn’t get used too much! Our other structures are much simpler in design but all work well in their different locations. I hope to get Part 2 out over the weekend:-D

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