Despite racing to complete, we weren’t able to finish the pergola before the end of 2020 because we ran out of Vaseline. That’s not a statement I ever thought I would be making, but there you are, 2020 was an unusual year.
Just a couple of days into 2021 and a supermarket shop later we replenished the supplies we needed to fit the final few rafters to the top of the pergola and we are now calling it done*.
There is a rather large asterisk attached to this “done” because the wood still needs to be cleaned. It also needs to be treated where it sits on the staddle stones, the grass could do with re-seeding, there are a few cavities to fill and the wooden pegs that hold the pergola together need cutting down to size.
It also needs climbers planted against the posts in the border and “stuff” growing along the fence to hide it as best we can. There’s probably more other but all this work can wait until the pergola has had some time to just sit there and get used to its new situation. I’ll be returning to these finishing jobs in the summer, when there’s a chance of no rain for more than 24 hours.
The whole process from design to approaching companies, pricing, selection, review, confirmation, delivery and assembly has taken around 6 months. The first emails with crude drawings of what I was after were sent out in July. Pergola assembly itself was all the more challenging as we were not able to call in extra help due to local restrictions; it was just the two of us.
Even before summer 2020, I had been thinking of trying to put a pergola somewhere in the garden for years. It was only when the rhododendron hedge was renovated earlier last year and the fence put in that the perfect site presented itself. I don’t think there’s a better place in the garden to have a pergola. It fits the border and location so well it’s almost as though it was entirely planned right from the start, right back when I was scribbling down the “Master Plan” on a rough piece of lined A5 in 2014.
What I really like is how the ornamental cherry and Tibetan cherry trees are growing into the pergola at both ends while the rhododendron hedge pokes through from the other side. This will all help it look naturally in-place instead of something that was “imposed” on the garden. A few years of vigorous climbers growing over the top of it and you might be hard-pressed to see any structure at all.
I’m hoping it will be glorious.