Those Beautiful Structures
You See In Other Peoples Gardens...

A Pergola is a garden feature forming a shaded walkway, passageway or sitting area.

(Kawachi Fuji Gardens, Kitakyushu, Japan)
There's a pergola for everyone's budget, lifestyle and purpose!


(Source: Unknown)
This is about as gawjus as it gets, right?
An open pergola of cast stone columns with open metal or wood framing across the top.

(Source: Elle Decor)
This is what we think of as a basic pergola; simple to build and easy to maintain as its not painted. A romantic spot to enjoy al fresco meals or entertain in! Yeah baby, break out the candles and some Dean Martin tunes!

(Designer: Charlotte Moss)
Here, we should break out the enema's...This is absolutely lovely, but it smacks of the Madoff days...just too-freekin-too...

(Apaquogue, NY)
This "Gloriette" is covered with a creeping vine - blending subtly into the landscape as opposed to a hard-edged structure.

(Source: Unknown)
This covered walkway is the bomb; the trumpet vine gives shade in the summer and allows sun through in the winter as it's deciduous.

(Source: Unknown)
This screened-in Colonial Williamsburg style pergola works well because its placed away from the house where there's a breeze.

(Landscape Designer: Michael Trapp)
The large vine-covered pergola in the foreground is close to the house and handles spill-over from parties inside the home - a smokers lounge, perhaps. Looking across the pool to the other structures creates a well-defined plan with different spaces for different uses. 
At the far end, an in-ground spa is between the two smaller pergolas, one of which is for lounging in the shade and the other for dining.
(Source: Garden Structure)
This amazing prefabricated pergola can make a statement at the far end of a garden or used as a link to another building.

(Sagaponack NY)
The most humble are always the most charming...
This old arbor becomes a pergola for large informal dining
Salads, Chianti and a loaf of great bread = bliss!!
Want shade? throw a length of outdoor fabric over the top and...
boom! der-it-is!

(Hortulus Farm, Renny Reynolds)
This elegant confection is a copy of ones at Versailles; used here as the gateway to the 'peony fields' and public gardens from the nursery at Hortulus Farm.

(Source: AD Europe)
These bamboo covered iron frames are used all over southern Europe - anywhere below the frost line. The dappled light is romantic, the woven bamboo keeps the sun out and lets the hot air escape...brilliant!


(Source: Calistoga)
A large contemporary pergola has a steel frame with wooden slats. It covers seating and relaxing areas by this pool. It's an architectural anchor for the pool area, breaking up the flatness of all that blue stone.

(Source: KAA Design-Architecture)
This entrance is cozy, organic and has much more appeal than a dark heavy entrance porch. It says "here's the entrance" to guests.

(Source: Photobucket)
Cantcha hear da steel drums, mon??
These sturdy shelters are called palapa's or tiki huts - they're perfect if you live in the tropics....they imply relaxation and are very strong, so no high-wind issues like umbrellas - blowing around the garden.

(Source: MPR Design Group)
This log and bamboo pergola connects two separate parts of the house, adding the warmth of wood against the white stucco and creating some desirable shade.

(Landscape Designer: Michael Trapp)
This boring traditional home is much more interesting thanks to the open-air pergola on the back of the house which visually connects the garage, main house and family room wings whilst leaving the homes interior bright and sunny.

(Source: Trevor and Tiki-huts)
Duuuude, let's take some brews and a blunt down to the dock and chill in da shade, aiight? This is a cheap way to get some shade on your dock so you can use it for more than the boat!

Instead of fencing the entire property ($$$) you can create a private, intimate exterior living and dining area while ramping up your homes architectural value.

(Source: Great Outdoors Landscape and Patio)
This Southwestern-style home uses a pergola to define a dining area, otherwise it would feel like any other patio. At night, up-lights and candles make this amazingly intimate.

(Source: Elle decor)
Other than being a nice focal point and entertaining area for this pool; the shelter has overhead slats which abates sun exposure whilst the operable shutters on the back control the breezes.

(Katie Couric's Hampton's Home)
In summer Katie can serve lunch to her media peeps on her wisteria covered porch. Wisteria is deciduous so the interior rooms are shaded in the summer and bright in the winter. 

(Source: Freshome)
This Mediterranean piazza has a wicked-awesome cantilevered aluminum structure which is covered with bamboo rods eliminating any interruptions in the view.

(Source: Freshome, Peru)
This groovy outdoor dining pergola is totally tricked-out with a full kitchen allowing family and friends to gather here for meals and no one has to run inside for the salad dressing or more wine, etc...

This pergola running alongside this pool was designed as a defacto corridor connecting several different areas or "rooms" in this stunning garden. Above: The screen porch for summer use is at the top right corner of this photo.

(Landscape architect: Richard Arentz, Interior Design: Joseph Paul Davis)
At the other end is the detached glass conservatory for winter use.

(Source: Bulgari residence in Bali)
This bitchin' outdoor living room is surrounded by a water feature keeping the ambient air cooler. This room is the link between two other structures. There are no walls, only curtains to control the sun and breezes.

(Architect: Magma Arquitectura, Barcelona)
This 'convertible' pergola has drop-down shades and pull-over top panels which can be utilized independently depending on sun, breezes, privacy or weather.

(Source: Ralph Lauren)
This cantilevered steel and wood-slat pergola shields the interior rooms (and loungers) from direct rays.

(Source: Resort Homes International)
Gilligan's Island goes island glam!
This wood and reed suspended pergola over the banquette offers shade to the loungers but more importantly it blocks the nosey-ass neighbors view into this pool area.

(Source: Montgomery Design)
This simple, but gorgeous pergola creates an additional room in which to live in the warmer months. The cheapest room-addition one can make!

(Source: Nottoscale)
This chic-as-shit structure was designed to accommodate several issues: It provides shade whilst allowing light into the house. Also, this home is constantly exposed to very high winds and blowing sand; during inclement conditions the canvas is retracted - leaving only the steel frame which easily handles the elements.


A wooden frame and steel tube structure creates a contemporary "link" between the kitchen and carriage house, and allows a perpendicular axis between the courtyard and formal lawn through a vine-covered portal - as shown below:

This pergola has many other uses; the grill is discretely concealed next to the kitchen door(on left) and can double as a covered area for serving at garden parties.
(Landscape Architect: Richard Arentz)

(Source: Unknown)
An outdoor kitchen and bar structure is the focal point which draws people out and through the garden.

(Source: Julien Paysagiste, France)
This simple, yet spacious hexagonal "destination" makes an al fresco meal, birthday party or simple gathering by the pond feel special.

(Source: CocoPlum, Bodu Hithi)
This pergola-covered banquette is the focal point here! The simple, open pergola adds "structure," defines the boundaries and provides privacy from the neighbors deck.

Dappled light is always sexy and alluring - day or night!
(Source: KAA Design and Architecture)
Formal gardens seem to ask for pergolas, right?
Balancing shade and sun makes a garden more interesting.

(Source: MPRD Design Group, Australia)
This entranceway is enhanced by this rad contemporary pergola embracing you during your approach.

(Source: Destinations Thailand)
This simple, zen-like elevated pergola serves double duty as a peaceful place for your daily yoga and as a tea house. It also provides shelter from the sun and creates a "structural focus" to obscure the neighbors.

This prefabricated 'tete-a-tete' can be a link between gardens, a place to wait for the school bus or a "destination" at the far end of a garden for cocktails, or the Sunday paper.

(Source: Unknown)
A small, insipid garden is now a chic gathering spot obscured from the sun with an inexpensive structure. The primitive construction is painted white a with white outdoor fabric cover; it's kept uncluttered by using all-white furniture. Total cost? Approximately $400 (w/o furniture)

(Source: Renny Reynolds, Hortulus Farm)
Approaching the main residence at Hortulus Farm the tree-lined lane suddenly narrows and bends, then after 1000 feet it opens broadly exposing a private Eden - as if a heavy, green velvet curtain has been pulled back; there, immediately across a pond your eye is drawn to this pure-white skeletal temple; its whiteness against the dark, verdant water and woods is animated by a surreal bevy of white swans flouting your arrival. In one small, well-placed structure we have:
  • A focal point.
  • A welcoming beacon (lit at night, too!)
  • A destination.
  • A garden object This is the pergola of pergolas!

(Source: El Mueble)
YES, if you live in the tropics.
YES, if you live in a warm climate and have a country-style or mission style home.
NO, if you live in Boston and have snow issues (duh!)
NO, if you have a mountain/loggy-style home.

(Source: Corradiusa)
YES, if you live in a contemporary home.
NO, if you live in a center-hall colonial.

(Source: AD Europe)
YES, if you live in a southwestern style home or a Napa-style ranch.
YES, if you live in a country-style home or even a Modern home.
NO, if you live in a McMansion.
NO, if you live in a mobile home.

(Source: Suncoast Tiki Huts)
NO, if you live anywhere north of Florida.
YES, if you live in a casual home in the tropics,
NO, if you live in a formal Spanish-Mediterranean style home,
NO, if palm trees don't naturally grow where you live.

(Source: Unknown)
YES, if you hunt moose.
YES, if you live in a state with mountains.
NO, if you live in Philadelphia.
NO, if you live in the tropics.


(Source: Unknown)
Roof decks can get very hot - with nowhere to run to!
This lean-to pergola works perfectly for this dining area with the built-in flower boxes keeping the seating area cooler and the plants from the searing sun. The slats let little sun in without trapping the heat inside.

(Source: Zighy Bay, Oman)
This elevated pergola above a lower-level seating area is perfect for the long distance views and catching cool breezes up and away from the hot sands of Oman.

(Source: Chicago Home & Garden)
This cool series of steel pergolas offer the residents some privacy from other penthouses. They also add some architecture and verticality to an otherwise 'flat' space.

(Source: FLP)
This rooftop deck rocks because the framing imitates a roofline; creating a place for climbing vegetation.

(Source: San Giorgio, Mykonos)
This constantly sunny roof terrace is shaded by a woven bamboo matting, its cheap and chic - I love that!

(Architects: Rees Roberts & Steven Harris, Cabo San Lucas)
This stone home on this hillside in Cabo is off da hook!! It has a pergola on top of the main house...better air and better views, gotta love that!


Really, above the pool??? Dead-flat vinyl panels that will have the water run-off exactly where you don't want it?

You'll be crying for Auntie Em when the wind kicks this piece of shit around...

Yes, this beauty is called the "Bay Window" outdoor room.
This is what $800 gets ya....
Oh, and a citation from your Homeowners Association...

Is your last name Liberace?
It's like a train-wreck but you still want to look...

I'd sooner gouge my eyes out than see this in my yard.

You can do it, I am here to help!