You may have seen a recent episode of Alan Titchmarsh's new series 'Love Your Garden'. Shade played an important role, due to the featured family's children having a medical condition that meant they could not play in bright sunlight.

The garden design guru solved this problem by building a pergola (or more accurately, instructing a gang of men to construct the pergola he had suggested).

A corridor of dappled shade was the result, in which the children could happily run around.

That pergola from Love Your Garden

If you're looking for the pergola that was featured on ITV's Love Your Garden during the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital garden makeover, you can find it here.
We have the exact same model (minus the custom-made colourful roof panels) for sale online at GardenSite, letting you recreate the effect in your own outdoor space at home, with convenient home delivery available to the majority of the UK.

Alternatively, if you want to take a look at some other pergola designs, most garden center's stock them and have one or two on display to see face-to-face, or you can shop for pergolas online at GardenSite and get it delivered to your home.

The pergola that was featured on ITV's Love Your Garden episode at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.
The pergola that was featured on ITV's Love Your Garden episode at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.

Create shade with a pergola

Pergolas are a fantastic way to introduce shade and they range from rustic timber to a plethora of more contemporary designs.

They are simple structures consisting of vertical posts supporting cross beams and combine architectural elegance with functionality.

Freestanding to create an area of protection from the harsh glare of direct sunlight, or attached to the house, they can form a link to another part of the garden or focal point.

A pergola also adds height and can be an excellent way to support climbing plants.

Traditional and contemporary

All the major manufacturers of timber garden structures including Rowlinson, M&M, Forest and Grange, have pergolas to suit every location.

The wood is pressure treated to ensure rot resistance and from simple arches, pergolas can range greatly in length and style.

In addition to those designed to create a corridor, there are radial versions that fan out from a corner and circular ones.

Others have shaped domed or rounded arches. There's a pagoda-inspired pergola and even one called 'The Pod' that featured in an earlier 'Love Your Garden'.

A decking kit can be included for a seating area, alternatively slabs or gravel may be laid for a path.

The Forest Square Pergola (Model: UPERG24HD), and the Radial Pergola (Model: RPK90HD).
The Forest Square Pergola (Model: UPERG24HD), and the Radial Pergola (Model: RPK90HD).

Pergola planting

Planting isn't as difficult as you may think. Above can be a canopy of roses with their stems trained up and over the timber, other good choices would be a clematis, honeysuckle, wisteria or jasmine. They can be helped on their way with a side trellis.

Below there's a wide selection of plants that enjoy dappled shade.

Hardy geraniums do well in partial shade, also think about the three h's - Hydrangea, Heuchera and Hosta. The fragrant Mahonia and aromatic Skimmia also prefer these conditions together with perennials Dicentra and Ligularia.