A pergola is a garden feature forming a shaded walkway, passageway or sitting area. It is constructed of vertical posts or pillars that support cross-beams and a sturdy open lattice. Also called an arbor, it may be built attached to your house or as a free standing structure. The materials used to construct your pergola range from cedar and treated lumber to aluminum. Each type of material has its' unique advantages. Another great option is to build the pergola with stone or brick columns.
Pergolas may link pavilions or extend from a building's door to an open garden feature such as an isolated terrace or pool. Freestanding pergolas, those not attached to a home or other structure, provide a sitting area that allows for breeze and light sun, but offers protection from the harsh glare of direct sunlight. Pergolas also give climbing plants a structure on which to grow.