You may be considering or have considered buying a pergola for your garden but been lost in the sea of options out there. This how-to pergola guide is designed to help you make an informed decision.

Pergola Placement

This may seem too obvious to discuss but sometimes the most obvious things are most easily overlooked. You may have a precise idea of where you want your garden pergola to go but you need to think of the practical issues over where it’s placed. For example what impact will it have on existing plants and wildlife in your garden? Will you lose a good relationship with your neighbour if the position of your pergola affects sunlight in their garden?

Pergola Measurements

You’ve made the measurements but have you checked them twice? Have you selected a Pergola size that will just about fit or have you made room for a bit more space? These are things you must do before buying a Pergola. Length, width, height and area size are all measurements you must have before deciding on which Pergola you want.

Pergola Material

Garden pergolas generally come in wood material but there are different types of wood which have different benefits. The majority of wooden pergolas are made with timber and this is what you would like to go for you need to be aware that timber, particularly with the British weather needs quarterly maintenance. Is this something you’re prepared or able to do?

You may be against the idea of steel pergolas because of the fear that they’ll rust but good quality steel pergolas will be treated to prevent rust or decay. Steel is best for when you want a very large sized pergola as steel will require less structural support than wooden pergolas.

Pergola Function

Pergolas look stunning but they can also form various different functions beyond garden aesthetics. Some pergolas double up in function as seating areas or as structures for vine-based plants. Roofed pergolas are perfect for those who want a sheltered place in their garden to read books and relax.

Don't let the summer pass by without looking at the extensive range of pergolas for sale at GardenSite, from major manufacturers such as ForestGrange and Rowlinson.

Forest 2.4m Ultima Pergola Kit

The Perfect Pergola

Whether you choose a modern or traditional design, there is no doubt your garden will benefit from the added structural interest and you'll have a fabulous area for entertaining and relaxation.

The Forest Ultima 3.6m pergola and others from the same range are traditional freestanding pergolas and pergola arches that introduce height, structure and interest to a garden. With a light breeze and dappled sunlight, they create a very pleasurable environment.

The rustic rose pergola and the more elegant traditional pergola from Grange are similar in design and, both these and the Forest pergolas can be used to create an attractive entranceway or a covered avenue between two sections of your garden.

Many pergolas, such as the Grange urban pergola, feature a slatted panel so that heavily scented plants such as roses, honeysuckle, jasmine or wisteria can be more easily trained. These can be planted in the ground at the base of supporting posts or in containers for fabulous colour and perfume.

A contemporary grey coloured patio pergola

Contemporary Pergola Styles

For something a little different, consider the Forest Radial Pergola that will fit snugly into a corner. The Carousel Pergola from Grange is an arresting centrepiece with cross beams connected to a circular roof.

Grange's Apollo Pergola has featured on TV and is a superb contemporary design with curved beams and rafters. Both will transform a garden space into a modern picnic or seating area.

A Colonnade Pergola, Bowed Walkway or Flower Rope Walk Pergola would be perfect for covering a path with climbing plants, wonderful garden features to stroll along during high summer - if you need inspiration, visit Hampton Court's Laburnum Walk.

The Flower Circle Walk might be familiar as it has also been featured on TV, made up of 'circles' of timber, there are connecting rods on which flower containers can be attached.

For a different design of pergola which is modern, the Rowlinson Venetian Canopy & Rowlinson Latina Canopy are very robust as they are made with aluminium and come with metal plates which allow them to be bolted down onto decking or patio.

View all Contemporary Pergolas.

Grange Dragon Pergola

Oriental Influence

To avoid any rain delays, the Rowlinson Sienna canopy and Rowlinson Verona canopy are both made from showerproof fabric and fully retractable, are good examples of how to avoid a sudden shower or provide total shade if the sun is too intense.

Finally, if you want decking and a pergola, Forest has the perfect product that will transform your patio completely. Their Patio Deck Kit includes a pergola and timber balustrade, so there is space for a table and chairs with the integral pergola offering a shaded area.