Tuscan-style design is hot in 2010, and many homeowners are eagerly looking for ways to incorporate old-world flavor into their décor. The good news is it doesn’t take a lot of money to add a hint of Italy to your landscape.
Building a pergola is one of the simplest and most effective ways of bringing European charm to your backyard. A pergola is a decorative structure made up of pillars supporting crossbeams for an airy, open-roof shelter. Pergolas can be used to mark transitions from one part of your yard to the next, or to help define an outdoor living space such as a deck or patio.
Nothing says Tuscan vineyard like a pergola entwined with woody vines and flowering wisteria. Here’s a look at why pergolas can whisk a garden centuries into the past:
- In the late Medieval and early Renaissance periods, gardens sometimes featured tunnels made from wood shoots bound together to form arches, which were loosely woven with slats and overgrown with climbing plants. These tunnels were the forerunners to today’s pergolas.
Examples of these early pergolas can still be seen at one of the Medici villas built near Florence between the 15th and 17th centuries.
- In the 17th century, pergolas were evolved into great stone or brick pillars supporting large crossbeams. These structures were a beloved feature in many vineyards during the Italian Renaissance.
- Pergolas also have a place in Asian-inspired architecture and landscaping. This style is modeled after the sacred buildings, tea houses and shrines of Asia. It features curved rafters instead of straight and often includes domes and turrets.
A pergola is one of the simplest and inexpensive outdoor projects to install, and the impact can be amazing. There are many different ways to incorporate a pergola into your yard–check out Rick’s great deals on cedar pergolas for your spring landscaping project.