What are Pergolas?

Pergolas are typically made from timber uprights with crossbeams and laterals at the top to form an open-topped canopy for an outdoor eating area or walkway. Other materials are sometimes used such as vinyl or metal, depending on the look and finish you wish to achieve. When planted with vigorous, flowering climbers they make attractive structures in the garden, offering height, shade and additional colour. You can allow your plants to naturally evolve and flourish by lightly training them around the pergola, making the planting look very effective whilst keeping them easily under control.

Are there different types of pergola?

Yes, there are a number of different styles and designs to suit every type of garden. There are more traditional pergolas, typically made from sympathetic materials like beautiful solid English oak, Douglas Fir or Teak. There are also contemporary designs made from metals and vinyl.

Pergola Walkway

Pergolas can be used to create archways which add form, structure and height using subtle but planned control of passages through the garden as well as selected viewpoints to create maximum enjoyment in your outside living-space. By creating different viewpoints in your garden, you can enjoy your garden many times over from different standing or seating positions.

Corner Pergola

Corner Pergolas are a great way of providing the garden with a secluded area for sitting, relaxing or entertaining. ‘Outdoor rooms’ can be created by defining a set area or cosy nook.

Square 4-Post Pergola

Square or rectangular pergolas are typically used to create shade or cover over seating areas for example BBQ covers, outdoor dining and terraced areas or even at a poolside bar.


Whilst pergolas are perfect for creating secluded areas with a sense of mystery and intrigue, they can also very easily hide or reduce the impact of an unsightly wall or fence too, which is another great use for your pergola.


Arbours usually have a roof and are often used for small seating areas with built in sofas. The can be used at the end of the garden to sit and have a drink whilst enjoying the garden views.

Suitable plants for a pergola

Any rambler or strongly-growing climbing rose will be a good choice for a pergola. Rambling roses are particularly well suited since their long and flexible stems are easy to train up and over the structure. Clematis that require little or no pruning and other vigorous, scrambling climbers such as summer-flowering honeysuckles are also a good choice.

Below are some suitable roses and climbers for pergolas:


‘Albéric Barbier’ AGM
‘Albertine’ AGM
‘American Pillar’
‘Danse du Feu’
‘Easlea’s Golden Rambler’ AGM
‘Emily Gray’
‘Félicité Perpétue’ AGM
‘Francois Juranville’ AGM
‘Golden Showers’ AGM
‘Madame Alfred Carrière’ AGM
‘Madame Grégoire Staechelin’ AGM
‘New Dawn’ AGM
‘Parkdirektor Riggers’
‘Phyllis Bide’ AGM
‘Pink Perpetué’
‘Sanders’ White Rambler’ AGM
‘Veilchenblau’ AGM
‘Wedding Day’

Other climbers

Clematis macropetala (and cultivars)
Clematis montana (and cultivars)
Clematis tangutica (and cultivars)
Clematis tibetana subsp. vernayi (syn. orientalis hort.)
Clematis viticella (and cultivars)
Clematis of the Lanuginosa Group
Lonicera caprifolium AGM
Lonicera etrusca
Lonicera x italica AGM (syn. Lonicera x americana AGM)
Lonicera periclymenum ‘Belgica’
Lonicera periclymenum ‘Graham Thomas’ AGM
Lonicera periclymenum ‘Serotina’ AGM
Akebia quinata
Aristolochia macrophylla
Celastrus orbiculatus Hermaphrodite Group AGM
Jasminum nudiflorum AGM
Jasminum officinale AGM
Jasminum x stephanense
Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’ AGM (in sheltered, milder gardens)
Solanum laxum ‘Album’ AGM (syn. S jasminoides ‘Album’ (in sheltered, milder gardens)
Vitis ‘Brandt’ AGM
Vitis vinifera ‘Purpurea’ AGM
Wisteria floribunda (and cultivars: ‘Multijuga’ AGM has the longest racemes)
Wisteria sinensis AGM (and cultivars)

Where to buy a Pergola?

There are a number of online retailers which sell pergolas. If you are looking for high-quality pergolas or arbours you can buy these from Our shop or There are a range of garden pergolas to suit different garden shapes, sizes and budgets in a variety of woods. You can browse our most popular selection, or if you wish to order a specific size, we offer bespoke pergolas with a consultancy visit if necessary.


The basic Model. Ideal for home owners with small, flat and simple lawns and gardens.

Ideal for small to medium size lawns whilst working to a budget

Ideal for small to medium size lawns. Comes with additional features

Ideal for medium to large size lawns. Comes with additional features

Ideal for large size lawns. Comes with GPS-assisted navigation

Ideal for large lawns. Comes with GPS-assisted navigation and Automower Connect

Author: Platts Horticulture