Garden Plant Support Design


What is a pergola: it is a canopy designed as a support for climbing greenery in order to create shading.

It arose as a forced solution for open terraced gardens and regular parks in the 17th-17th centuries.

The main purpose of pergolas in those days was shelter from the midday summer heat. But rather quickly, this architectural element of the garden transformed into a self-sufficient and integral decoration of almost any landscape.

Forms of this structure can be many:

  • arched, U-shaped,
  • tunnel in the garden
  • gallery above the terrace,
  • lattice gazebo, canopy,
  • vertical panel.

All of the above options will be discussed later in the article and necessarily illustrated with photographs.

But first, let me turn to MATERIALS OF EXECUTION.

The most popular of these is wood, which most organically «fits» into the landscape design of a regular garden, a garden in the Art Nouveau style or a landscape type. Hardwood can be left as is. Over time, it will darken and acquire a natural charm.

But those who rely on the long service life of a pergola (or choose inexpensive pine) often resort to processing it in order to protect the tree from the harmful effects of high humidity and ultraviolet radiation.

Forged pergolas will cost the owner of the site more, but they will also last longer. Metal openwork will perfectly fit into a French garden or into a landscape formed in accordance with modern trends.

Recently, products are gaining popularity PVC. Their main trump card is durability and aesthetics. Such pergolas are easy to clean straight from the hose, they do not lose color when exposed to sunlight (we are talking about quality products) and fit perfectly into the design of the garden in the English or country style (especially if they are made like fences in white).

PLANTS FOR PERGOLAS curly ones are chosen so that over time they are braided from the base of the supports to the very top.

It can be perennial creepers: pyracantha, grapes, ivy, honeysuckle, parthenocissus, passion flower, wisteria, clematis (pictured), etc.

Not all of them take root in cool latitudes, so the choice of plants should be approached individually.

As an easier solution, you can use an annual (in our climate) quamoclite and sweet peas (by the way, there are perennial varieties of it).

Climbing roses cannot do without supports. And these varieties are created just for braiding pergolas and facades. When choosing a particular type, be sure to carefully study its characteristics. Not all climbing roses have a fairly flexible stem that is suitable for garden pergolas. Some, although weaving, are only suitable for flat surfaces (facades and vertical screens).

There is another hitch with roses: in a cold climate in the fall, they are removed from their supports and laid for wintering on the ground under cover. If this is troublesome for you, give preference to less «capricious» plants.


it the simplest solution in the style of an English garden. This design is good both as a flowering jumper over the path, and as an arched canopy over the gate.

Arches-pergolas with a direct horizontal overlap are more typical for a regular garden. Moreover, they are made in accordance with the scale of the park: the larger the area, the more massive the pergolas. The supports of some even resemble columns and are made of stone or white concrete.

In winter, when the creepers are removed from their supports, it is very important that your arch looks presentable: either it fits into the general concept of decorating the yard (garden), or it looks like an independent art object. In my yard I made this:


This certainly interesting and spectacular architectural element of the garden is designed to perform two tasks.

Task #1: create a shady corridor above the walking path in places where there are no tall trees.

Task #2: to play the role of a transitional element between areas of the garden with different styles. After all, the fantasy of a landscape designer can embody several, sometimes mutually exclusive styles.

To avoid incompatibility, such areas are delimited by hedges and transitions between them are created in the form of a tunnel. While walking along it, you forget the picture you saw, so the new landscape does not overlap the previous one.

This terrace covering solution is most popular in countries with a mild climate and winters with little or no snow. After all, the slatted ceiling does not retain snow, which falls like a snowdrift directly on the terrace flooring.

In the conditions of our latitude, such a pergola terrace is more suitable for cottages that are operated only in the warm season. And the decision to abandon the roofing is quite justified: green foliage creates a reliable shelter not only from rain, but also from the scorching sun. In the heat, the leaves begin to evaporate moisture, serving as a natural conditioner — this is the key to the cool canopy of trees.

Actually, like the gallery, the gazebo with a pergola roof serves the same task: creating a cool shade. A light roof does not save from the heat, and a multi-layer one looks too heavy. But green in summer is both beautiful and light, and in winter, after shedding foliage and in spring, it is translucent, which is especially important for insolation of the wooden parts of the gazebo (ultraviolet helps to destroy tree fungi).


It is not always possible to let creepers or roses trail directly along the facade or fence. Therefore, vertically mounted gratings can often be found along vertical planes.

Some of them are attached to the wall, others are a portable cabinet-box with a lattice screen, and others are completely fixed in the ground according to the principle of a fence.

Both options are good because they are a frame of a given shape and as a result you will get the planned landscaping contours.

Portable cabinets are also used as a «green» screen next to benches or other hidden places in the garden.

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