July 7, 2017 Ed Stam

The Difference between Arbors and Pergolas

You have likely heard a number of foreign names being thrown around when discussing landscaping structures, but many people don’t actually know what they are. For example, what is the difference between arbors and pergolas? There are several structures that are similar in many ways but also have their own unique characteristics, these include:

  • Arbors
  • Gazebos
  • Trellises
  • Latticework

Pergolas vs Arbors

Garden arbors are relatively simple structures that are small and frequently have curved arches at the top. Often made of wood, these are free-standing structures that can be used for vine plants and to create a shade element in your garden.

Pergolas by comparison are much larger structures that feature more architectural embellishments, such as masonry columns. They feature a flat roof and are used to create more of an outdoor living space, rather than an arbor which would only be used as a privacy screen or shade element.

The term pergola comes from the great masonry pergolas of the Italian Renaissance. Picture large marble columns, decorative tile floors and beautiful foliage strategically placed around the structure. In modern times, pergolas can be made from a variety of materials, including wood. These structures are often attached to houses (or very nearby) and form an extension of the home’s living space.

Pergolas can also be used to “straddle” a pathway and create a welcoming destination for people touring your backyard.

Many people choose to add latticework to the sides of their pergolas or arbors. Both structures are great support for climbing plants and the crisscross pattern of latticework will give your plants something to climb.

The difference between arbors and pergolas can easily be determined by the size of the structure. Pergolas are typically large in every dimension and offer more functional uses beyond decoration or a privacy screen.

If you want to learn more about arbors and pergolas, or other landscaping structures, contact the experts at Blossom Hill Landscape & Design!

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