Did you ever wonder what the difference is between an arbor, a trellis, and a pergola?
Did you ever wonder if you need one, and what purpose they serve?
While they are different, pergolas, trellises, and arbors all can provide shade, beauty, and a place for climbing plants to grow. A trellis, pergola, or arbor is an architectural structure, usually made from a framework, such as lattice, and made of wood, bamboo, pvc or metal.
Trellis can be attached to fences, roofs, or to the exterior walls of a building. The primary purpose of the trellis is to support climbing plants, which can’t stand straight by themselves. With the assistance of the trellis, the climbing plant wraps around the trellis and climbs, which adds vertical visual appeal to a garden. A trellis is typically incorporated into gardens, and used primarily for climbers such as grapevines, clematis, ivy, and climbing roses or other climbing plants.
The term pergola generally refers to trellis-work which is laid horizontally above head height to provide a partial roof in a garden or patio area. A pergola can serve as a great enhancement to any building or open space. Pergolas provide shade, as well as unique visual appeal. Pergolas may be directly attached to a building to cover an open area, such as a patio, that is adjacent to the building. Freestanding pergolas provide seating areas that allow for a breeze and some sun, but offer protection from direct sunlight. Pergolas may also be used in gardens to provide climbing plants support to grow.
An arbor, however, is specifically designed to provide climbing plants structure to grow. Many arbors are rounded at the top with latticework on the sides, thus creating the feel of a tunnel. Sturdy construction of an arbor is required for climbing plants, as their weight will need to be supported. Arbors are designed to create visual pathways, typically through gardens, and the plants they support provide color, fragrance, and shade to the areas they occupy. It is important to consider placement if you decide to install an arbor, including the quantity of space available, and how the space is intended to be used.
Although the terms often are used interchangeably, pergolas, trellises, and arbors are distinctly different structures with varying uses. If you are considering a structure like a pergola, trellis, or an arbor, please feel free to contact us.