Creating a Backyard Oasis with a Pergola

Paul Petersen

If you watch HGTV at all, you are familiar with the growing popularity of pergolas. Pergolas are actually an age-old structure dating back to the Italian Renaissance. They are typically larger than arbors but have some of the same characteristics. Don’t confuse a pergola with a gazebo. Gazebos are usually round-shaped and sport a closed roof. Today’s pergolas offer many different materials, shapes, sizes and customizations. Whatever you choose to do, your backyard will become a relaxed, breathtaking oasis when furnished with a pergola. Other additions such as landscaping and pavers will upgrade your home’s outdoor appeal. Many homeowners are even opting to use artificial grass to save money and time on the upkeep of the backyard while at the same time having a year-round soft green lawn.

Pergola Styles

Most of these unique structures are made of wood. However, the type and color of wood varies. You may see metal or vinyl pergolas but these are usually pre-made and purchased from big box stores. Some are lighter weight and prone to get damaged in storms so choose carefully. Some different types of pergolas include:

  • A pergola with open roofing leaves room for creativity. You can add strings of lights, hanging plants, and vines that wrap around the top of the open rafters. This choice makes for a less closed feel and can provide a view of the sun or night sky. Conversely, it does not provide protection from rain or snow.
  • A canvas top pergola will enable you to spend time outdoors even when it is raining or snowing. It will also block out sun and give a level of privacy. You can add privacy fencing or trellises along the sides for more of a cozy feel.
  • Polycarbonate roof panels are made of a lightweight but durable covering. You can purchase these in a clear finish to allow most of the light to come through while still offering shelter from rain or snow. These roof panels also come in a variety of colors and transparency.
  • Other options include something as simple as outdoor shading cloth stapled to the top of the pergola or as complex as customized remote control Roman shades.

While a pergola will look amazing in your backyard, planning and costs will be involved to help obtain the retreat you may want. Planting lush green plants or, if you don’t have a green thumb, using artificial potted plants can brighten up your area. Purchasing outdoor furniture with brightly colored pillows will go a long way towards bringing it all together. If grass doesn’t grow well in your area or you are concerned about the environment, you may choose artificial grass to green-up around your new pergola. When you are done, sit back and relax in your backyard haven!

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