Over Christmas and all during the limbo period between Christmas Day and New Year, we’ve been building the pergola. It’s consumed the daylight hours. There has been the odd “day off” when the weather has been really bad but otherwise, it feels like it’s all we’ve been doing. We’re getting close to the end now.
After the initial section was up and free-standing, the rest of the pergola followed relatively well. There were some difficulties in getting the pergola top rails to generally work with the gradual slope of the garden and while the lean and kinks are obvious now, I’m hoping they’ll gradually start to become hidden as the whole structure is overwhelmed with climbing plants.
Our arms ache from lifting the heavy pieces from the front through to the back and then either hoisting up or lifting overhead into place. It feels like similar pieces have just become heavier as the days have worn on. I remember being somewhat frustrated and glad one morning when it had rained heavily overnight and we couldn’t work outside because there was standing water in the border edges and the whole garden was distinctly “squelchy”.
We’ll be finishing off the structure in the next few days, I hope, and then all that remains is to ensure the rafters are in the right places, decide what to do with all the pegs and then figure out how to fill in the gaps where the hole and tenon measurements weren’t great, leaving gaps for water to collect. There’s also a few cavities to fill, the wood to clean and preserve, staddle stones to clean, general making-good of the grass and strip along the fence and so on. I also need to find a bench or two to put in the middle.
At the moment I’m so focussed on getting the pergola finished that I haven’t paid much attention to the Holidays and Festive period, especially as we are in a UK Tier 4 area, which has meant that we weren’t allowed to have outside help to build the pergola – one of the reasons it has taken some time.
The pergola is a rather imposing piece; even when standing underneath it, it feels lofty. Despite being new, it already feels part of the garden because the Tibetan cherry, ornamental cherry and Rhododendron hedge are growing into it, once the climbers grow all over it, it might not even be visible.
The work continues.