Fifthroom Living


The Garden’s Historic Structure: Pergolas

Pergolas are a hybrid of open and enclosed space, emitting a timeless simplicity and functionality that is unlike any other landscape structure. That is the very reasoning why the pergola has stood the test of time for over 3,000 years. While materials and style trends sure have changed for the pergola, its many functions are still intact to this day, both providing beauty and protection. Knowing its history may allow you to view these beautiful structures in a new way.

There was a time when only the elite used pergolas. The earliest known garden plan, which included a pergola over the entryway to the garden, dates back to about 1400 BC. It belonged to an Egyptian high court official of Thebes. It’s unknown whether the pergola was built for aesthetic pleasure or to provide protection from the elements.

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

During the Great Italian Renaissance in the 17th Century, pergolas benefitted from this artistic revival period. The Italians designed them using large, smooth stone pillars, which supported elaborate beam-and-rafter assemblies dressed with flowing vines and flowering plants.

In the early 20th century, the word ‘pergola’ was the buzzword among some architects! It’s been said that the pergola was the best way to unify a home and its landscape – an ideal concept out of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Landscape designers like Gertrude Jekyll made a name for themselves by designing magnificent gardens with pergolas.

Deanery Garden designed by Jekkyl. Photo credit: This Old Home

Deanery Garden designed by Jekyll. Photo credit: This Old Home

And, today’s technology has helped pergolas to last longer. They can be designed with materials like pressure treated lumber – allowing them to last a lifetime with little to no maintenance. Pergolas have become more functional than ever too, now making great structures to display over your Outdoor Kitchen and dining area. Pergola Pergola

Bring the rich history of pergolas into your backyard! You can customize your pergola at and choose from a variety of sizes and materials ranging from Vinyl and Fiberglass to Red Cedar and Treated Pine. Speak to a Project Advisor today: 1-888-293-2339

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