Although it is normally at the height of summer that we are filled with great ideas on how to improve our gardens, winter is actually the perfect time to put those ideas into action.
With ground softer and the plants dormant it is much easier to work on the ‘bones’ of the garden and introduce structure and form to enjoy throughout the year.
Arches and pergolas are popular ways of adding a new dynamic to your garden and maximising the growing space – a stunning rose covered arch or wisteria walkway is a wonderful addition if planned, positioned and planted correctly.
If you’re thinking of introducing some structure to your garden, here are 10 tips to consider:
1. Find reason for your structure
The most important thing to remember when positioning an arch or pergola is that there has to be a reason for it – used over a pathway to lead you on to explore, a feature at the end, a gateway, a large pot or a sculpture could complete the effect.
2. Consider size
If using an archway over a path, make sure you choose one that is high enough and wide enough – as a rule of thumb it’s always good to aim for something that two people could walk through side by side.
3. Select your climber
Choosing the right climbers is really important for the scale of structure. Also do remember that most climbers such as wisteria and roses will need pruning, so make sure you can manage and reach them in the future.
4. Ensure enough space
Also do remember that when the climbers have grown the archway will fill more space so allow at least 50cm either side of the arch to allow for the plant growth.
5. Avoid Overplanting
Do not overplant with vigorous climbers – it can be very effective to plant several smaller varieties on one structure to give interest over a long flowering period and an evergreen such as Trachelospermum Jasminoides will give year round interest.
6. Use Evergreens
Think about the planting along the base of a pergola or archway – evergreen planting can make the structure look neat all year round, hide bare stems of climbers and anchor it into the ground - Lavender or Sarcococca will add great fragrance too.
Choose a design that can act as an architectural feature in its own right during the winter or while you are allowing climbers to mature - a decorative finial or subtle colour finish can elevate a simple structure and adding lighting creates a magical effect at night.
8. Create a focal point
A Wall Pergola is perfect to use over a terrace to provide shade, either outside a door or as a focal point in another part of the garden, perhaps with a seat and pots of shade-loving plants.
9. Consider alternative structures
If you don’t have the space or budget for a larger structure then try a pair of Obelisks either side of a path to make a statement or decorative edging to a lawn or border create formality.
10. A long-lasting investment
Whatever structure you choose will be a very visible feature and a major part of the structure of your garden – make an investment to enjoy for many years to come. Our Traditional Collection structures come with a 10 Year Guarantee so you can purchase with complete peace of mind.