Thursday, August 11, 2011

Husband's handwork: The pergola

Last year we started working on our backyard, a project that includes lots of drought-resistant flowers, a small lawn and a large patio.

I did as much work as I could before Lachlan arrived, and then everything pretty much fell by the wayside until this summer. While I've been busy with Lachlan, the husband has been hard at work outside, wrapping up many of our undone projects.

The most significant project he recently finished is the pergola.

Pergola front

The patio area gets very intense sun from about 10 am until 1 pm every day, so I wanted a small shaded area for those rare days when I might want to sit out there with a cup of coffee or to eat lunch while Lachlan plays on the lawn. I had in my mind that I wanted a structure made out of metal that would rust to match the rusty metal roof and pipe fence, and I wanted grapes to grow up the four posts and over the top to provide shade.

Pergola side

With those instructions in mind, the husband set out to create a one-of-a-kind pergola. Each of the four posts is a different length, which helped to create the odd angles of the top of the structure, which adds a lot of visual interest. One thing about the husband is that he doesn't like for things to be symmetrical!

Pergola front 2

I think the odd angles also work well with the odd angles of the roof of the house, a result of several different additions by previous owners.

Pergola back

We planted the grapes at the end of last year, and they are growing like crazy now that they have something to grow on. The area around the patio is covered in the same rust-colored trail mix used in the other parts of the back yard, and the base of the grapes is surrounded by river rock, which will tie in well to the river rock that we plan to use in the side yard of the house (to the right of the patio in the photo above), which is destined to become a play area for Lachlan once he gets a little older.

Pergola side 2

We've already enjoyed several dinners on our patio this year, and I think we'll start spending even more time out here now that the area is so pretty!


  1. All those angles would make Frank Gehry proud - looking good!

  2. This is really beautiful and unusual. I'm super impressed! You and Justin make quite a team. So now, will I see it in all its naked glory or when it's covered in grapes, giving great shade?

  3. Ann: I had to look up Frank Gehry. But you're right, I think he'd love all the angles! :)

  4. Becky: How about now in its naked glory AND when it's covered in grapes???!!! :D

  5. Great Grapes!
    The river rocks are a wonderful touch, evoking water in a waterless summer.


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