Pergola – location, location, location!

Think About It

Yesterday I saw a photo on Facebook of a new pergola in that had recently been put up in someone’s garden. It was made of green oak, which is one of the most beautiful (and expensive) woods you can use for such structures. It was attached to the house, over the patio immediately outside the French windows of their sitting room. The photograph showed it to be well designed and a thing of beauty (in my eyes, at least) and will become more so as the wood ages and softens with some climbers growing up and over it. The lady of the house was justly delighted with it and was looking forward to having her friends and family round for meals ‘al fresco’ in the future. All good, you would think.

BUT…… here’s the thing – the garden owner had clearly not thought about the impact of the pergola on the inside of their house. Anything solid placed immediately in front or over the windows of your house will reduce the amount of light that can get into the room beyond. You might have noticed how much lighter a room becomes when you take the curtains down even if they are very modest. The pergola I saw in the photo was a chunky structure and even without plants, it will already be making the sitting room darker than it was before it was constructed. The sitting room will become darker still when the climbing plants have become established and are in full leaf.


The presence of something that provides fixed shading is fine on bright, hot days but, as you know only too well, this is the United Kingdom and we are not blessed with that many bright, hot days. Rather, we have more wet and/or dull days especially during the winter months and then the impact of the pergola will really be felt when in the sitting room, which I think is a shame and unnecessary.

No doubt the owners of the garden thought to make use of an existing patio which is understandable, convenient and even admirable but it also shows a bit of short term thinking, which they will, unfortunately, discover – too late.

Don’t make the same type of mistake as these good folks!

I’m not suggesting that you should never place a pergola in this type of location but only do so once you have weighted up all the pros and cons,

Light versus convenience? I know which one I think is more important. What about you?

Have a go this weekend

If you’d like to email me with any questions, click here and I’m very happy to help you if I can.

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Happy gardening.
Best wishes


PS – if there is anything common sense garden-related issue that you’d like to have aired to a wider audience, contact me by clicking here.

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