Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Crafty DIY : Garden Pergola

Behold, the classic pergola. Obviously on the cheap. This section of the garden was perfect for a dining table but needed breaking up so a pergola seemed the perfect solution. Eventually when the wisteria and roses have grown up over the top, it will provide a romantic natural shelter from the sun. However given our climate, I’m not entirely certain we need shelter from the sun, more like a nuclear generator to produce more sun if anything, but then the activists would get involved and costs would sky rocket.

This was very easy to achieve and makes a very big impact within such a small space. I’ll do a proper DIY one day when I can find all the photos, but basically measure out where you want your uprights will go, wallop in some spiked post holders if you have earth, use floor mounted post holders with wall brackets if you have concrete. Get all your upright posts in place and secure with runners screwed in each side to help maintain its shape and support the structure – dust off your trusty spirit level to help you get this spot on. We used 75x75mm posts which were just over 2m high.

Next gather your cross beams and lay them on top at even intervals. We used 40x40mm lengths which were long enough and light too and fixed them to the runners each side. You could always saw them at angles at the ends for decoration, but because our pergola was fairly low in accordance with the house, we didn’t want anybody’s eyes to suffer with any over-zealous jumping - just in case. Finish your design with festoon lights (thanks D&L for your inspiration!) which make the area magical in the evening, giving a real party vibe to alfresco dining. We can recommend getting a delivery from a wood merchants rather than a DIY store – the wood is about half the price.

We made this whole little scene come together by utilising an old stained work bench from the garage. It’s wondrous what a waterproof table cloth can hide. I built the bench at the back out of scrap wood which comfortably seats three people and the chairs we found on sale online. Now we just need the good weather to allow us to eat outside a bit more in the evenings. Still, we always have the wine bar a few feet away.


  1. Your pergola looks great and has enthused me to go ahead with mine for those balmy summer evenings that do happen once in a while even up here, cheers from argyll scotland

  2. That's brilliant! Let's hope for some better weather this year though :) Cannot wait for those balmy evenings to kick in!

  3. Looks great! I'm inspired!! Thank you for sharing!


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