A pergola is an attractive way to add a shady lounging or dining area in your back garden. There are multitudes of different styles to match all kinds of gardens, and there are all kinds of details to consider. Want a pergola that evokes the idea of nature? Let these ideas inspire you.
1. Use Local Wood
So your pergola resonates with the natural landscape, choose local timber. Ideally, you should look for a type of wood that grows in your area or at least timber that is from Australia or New Zealand. Although the effect is subtle, everything from the grain to the colour helps to create a natural feel.
2. Opt for Branches Over Milled Wood
Typically, the poles for a pergola come in one of two styles—they are either milled wood or branches. If you want to feel like you are cradled in the treetops whilst you are sitting under your pergola, opt for branches. Typically, these are trunks of young trees that have been cut, debarked, sanded and finished. In some cases, they feature y-shaped branches on the top, and the cross beams rest in those extra branches.
3. Skip the Awnings
To further the feeling of the great wilderness, skip the awnings and other synthetic pergola roofs. Instead, just opt for cross beams that are also unmilled long branches. That creates a rustic, homey look as well.
4. Plant Some Vines
When you give up the awnings, you also give up the shade, but luckily, you can replace that by leaning even more into your nature theme. Consider putting vining plants on the top of the pergola. Grape vines, flowering vines or any vines you prefer can work beautifully.
In the summer, when the sun is at its peak, the vines tend to be their fullest, and they provide the shade you need. During the winter, they are dormant which helps to emphasis the feeling of the season.
5. Surround with Plants
Whether you go with vines or not, you should put some plants around the pergola. Let the grass grow up to the pergola or even under it if it's not shaded. Put potted plants, hedges or rows of flowers around the pergola. All of that adds to the final effect.
6. Mix and Match
You don't have to exclusively focus on creating a natural vibe. You can mix and match natural elements and other features to create a final effect that works for you. For instance, you may like a branch-style frame but a retractable awning on the top for convenient shade.