Hardscape Design Ideas

Frame Your Walkway: Build a Pergola

A shady, plant-covered pergola is a real treat on a hot summer's day, or the perfect spot for outdoor entertaining. Here, we show you how to build a pergola from a kit, which you can find at your local garden store.

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Installing the Cross-Pieces

Most pergolas have extra cross-pieces to strengthen the roof (these do not sit on uprights so are unsupported). Mark their position midway between the uprights (image 1). Predrill screw holes in each piece.

Screw or bolt the cross-pieces in place — you will need someone to hold them steady to stop them twisting when you're drilling (image 2). Check that all the fixings on the pergola frame are tight.

Position the roof beams on top of the cross-pieces (image 3). Mark and predrill holes, and then screw in place. Leave the bracing on the upright posts for three weeks until the concrete has completely set.

Wiring for Climbers

A system of wires attached to the upright posts of your pergola will give plants the support they need to start climbing. Fix screw eyes at 1 foot intervals around the four sides of an upright. Attach galvanized wire to the lowest screw eye, run it through all the eyes on the same side of the upright and secure it firmly to the top one. Repeat on the other three sides of the upright. Guide shoots of twining plants onto the wires; tie in shoots of stiffer stemmed climbers, such as roses.

Pergola Support for ClimbersEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited
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Excerpted from Garden Design

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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