Pergola Planning

I've spent some time over the weekend improving the structure of my Pergola and drawing up a plan for the under planting.

The frame needed firming up so I've added some cross pieces in the top corners at the entrances together with down pieces along its length to give some extra strength to the rail that runs at waist level. This extra bit of structure also gives me something more onto which I can train the roses when they eventually get to height which I guess is going to take three years or so.

As before, I made these extra pieces from old tomato poles which I screwed onto the main frame and then bound the joints with rope to hide the screws and give it a rustic feel.

Now building the pergola was the easy bit. The underplanting, that's a different story. I must have changed my mind 50 times or more. It's not that I can't 'see it' it's just I suffer from 'Oh yeah, and I could put some of that in as well' syndrome. I used to be indecisive, now I'm not so sure.
So anyway, logical approach, I've drawn a plan and kept it simple.

Et Voila, this really has helped me. Ok, it's not set in stone (please click to enlarge the pic) and guess what, I'm thinking 'Oh yeah I could put some of that in as well' but I'm pretty close to a final decision.

In effect I'm actually using four plants, hardy Geranium, Stipa, Nepeta and lots of Gladiolus Byzantinus which sends up beautiful magenta flowers in late spring, early summer. Not shown, and just remembered now is that I've got twenty bulbs of Liatris spicata or Gay Feather as it's commonly known. Hmmm, they'd look nice popping up in groups through some of the catmint.

So there it is, any suggestions, criticism or comments very thankfully received.


  1. That's the good thing with plans. You can make them simple, and then add whatever you fancy later :)

    (While I was looking at your plan, "someone" came looking over my shoulder and suggested I sohuld make a coloured plan so it was possible for others to see what's going on in my imagination)

  2. That's looking great and with all those plants it'll be beautiful. I love catmint and it seems to look good all summer here. Your color plan is a great idea. Have fun working on it and takes lots of pictures!

  3. I love the plan and the pergola. I think it will be beautiful.

    We've changed our travel plans -- going to Paris for 7 days in May. It's time for me to see Giverny.


  4. I think that maybe I should start making plans.....I'm very much a 'bung it' gardener and if it doesn't work, then I shift it, but there is definately something to be said for a beautiful, coloured plan like yours!
    Your pergola looks dead good (oops, that the Yorkshire in me sneaking out!)and your plant combos will look great against it - looking forward to seeing more photos as the work progresses!

  5. Love the look, what a beauty that is going to be. Keep us posted, I would love to see it as it grows.


  6. The pergola is gorgeous! Good choice to include airier plants so its beauty isn't swallowed up. Your plan is lovely and professinal - love that you included the scale.

    I think your plant choice is great. My only suggestions would be to consider 'Rozanne' instead of 'Johnson's Blue' and 'Walker's Low' instead of 'Six Hills Giant'. They look almost identiical, and despite the name, the Walker's Low will often get 3' tall just like the Six Hills, but I've switched to these two cultivars over time as I find them to be longer blooming and tougher varieties.

    I've never tried the Stipa and in fact had to look it up to see a photo. Looks a lot like a Pennisetum (Fountain Grass), one of my favorite grasses, so thanks for teaching me something new.

    Will we get a photographic "work in progress" diary?

  7. Hei Hilde, share your thoughts, make a plan.

    Catherine, Jen, Liz, I post pics as things get underway.

    Hi Cameron. Paris, just wonderful!

    Hi Susan, I'm about to google geranium Rozanne, thanks for the advice.

  8. looks great. I need to build something for the hardy kiwi I plan to grow this year.

  9. I think this will be great Rob and look wonderful in a year or so. For me I woukd have added a few fragrant herbs, like Lavender.

  10. Thanks for the comments Rob, I shall keep a keen eye on your blog, love the pergola.


  11. Looks good, Rob! I was interested to see Susan's comments about the catmints - I've got several plants of both 6 Hills Giant and Walker's Low planted from last year. It will be interesting to see how they compare as they mature this coming season. I keep reading the Walker's Low is less likely than other catmints to split down the middle. But 6 Hills Giant has larger flowers (I think?!) and so might be nice for me to have for arrangements. I'll post pictures of my nepetas if you post pictures of yours, um, does that sound kind of funny to you, too? Good luck - VW

  12. Rob, that is a most impressive and sturdy looking structure. I think that it soon look a picture. I don't know your roses so I am off to look them up.

  13. The pergola looks just great. I think it was a good idea to reinforce with those corner beams as my fruit frame, (lovingly made by my husband) collapsed in very strong wind for the lack of them tensioning the whole, allowing the wind to 'twist' the structure. Your garden ornaments look so drawable, can I book my sketching holiday now? And yes, I too have drooled over these architectural antiques expensively rusting away in some yard off a byway in deepest France, only to be told they want megaeuros for me to take them off their hands. Darn! Regards Fay

  14. Like your pergola plan and look forward to seeing photos as it grows and develops.

  15. You have inspired me to write another blog to La Belle France, just envy!!!
    Thanks for your kind comment, regards Fay

  16. I love your pergola! Your plans are beautiful on the paper and I'm sure the realization will be lovely.

    Thought about underplanting with spring bulbs for early season interest? R. Verey used alliums in her famous laburnum walk.

  17. Thanks for all your comments.

    Wayne, watch the kiwi, they can be rampant.

    Hermes, I'm a lavender fan too.

    Edinburgh city Gardener, thanks for stopping by.

    VW, thanks for the info and yeah, I'll post Nepeta pis this Summer.

    Anna I hope you found the roses.

    Woodland Fay, I loved your French post.

    Hi Sue in Milan, I like your balcony too.

    Hi Ilona, I may go for alliums.Very beautiful I've probably got to rob a bank. What am I saying, they've robbed me!

  18. Quite Impressive about Armagh Pergolas. Want more post like this post to increase my knowledge about pergola.


Post a Comment