Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Want One of These!

Last week, we visited my husband's Aunt in Upstate New York.  I've always admired her beautiful pergola that she has in her backyard.  It has Wisteria growing all over it.  I love pergolas and really would like one in our yard one day.  Isn't it just beautiful?
Here is another view from the west side of the pergola.  If I had one of these, I would grow grape vines to cover the pergola.  She said that the structure has been here for many years, and have since started to have structural problems.  She told me that since this was built out of wooden beams, the wood is starting to break down / decompose and so she had to nail reinforcement 2x4s to support the beams.  She said that if we were to put in a pergola to consider using a metal material instead of wood, however I do love the look of the old wood beams.  I know that cedar holds up better than most other types of wood, but does it last forever?  I definitely don't want to use treated lumber since I would want to grow grapevines on it.
If I had a pergola like this, I would eat so many meals under here.  It is breathtaking.  I would throw parties just to find ways to use this pergola!  Or just relaxing underneath it with a lawn chair and a good book.  It's so romantic and pretty.
The hubs Aunt said that the Wisteria is pretty spectacular when it's blooming in the spring.  I have yet to see it in full bloom.  Maybe next year.  She said that now it is producing lots of seed pods. She gave me some seed pods to take home. The seed pod has an amazing velvety texture.  It's so cool.  I plan on drying the pods out and trying to grow a Wisteria plant.  I'll have extra seeds available so I think I'll bring the seeds to a seed swap that I'm helping organize in Brooklyn.  If any of you readers would like a few seeds, I may have some extras to give out.  Please note, Wisteria is a large growing vine, so you need a good support system for these plants.
On her property was also this amazing hydranga bush.  Wow, it was gigantic and the blooms were starting to die.  She said it's all blue in early summer.  Beautiful!
I found one of the mopheads still with the vibrant blue color.  I hope my hydrangea bushes grows this nice!! 


  1. I actually killed most of my wisteria in the yard this year. It puts out ground runners and its very invasive.

    I have a white one that I didn't kill. I plan on moving it to the dog pen and letting it grow up the side for shade.

  2. Cedar beams will not last forever, but they will last much longer than untreated (or even treated) lumber. Nevertheless, they have a lot of character and will age to a beautiful patina. It does cost a pretty penny though, especially if it is West Coast red cedar. However, you might be able to find East Coast white cedar which tends to be slightly less expensive.
    Metal structures can also be quite pretty, but they are not a guarantee that they will last longer. Most outdoor metal frames are made of iron, so require regular paint jobs to stave off rust (just imagine having to paint through vines...)Also, if you intend to let the vines grow from year to year, the weight of the plant can easily twist or even bring down a metal structure that is too flimsy.
    One solution is to do as grape growers and vineyards do: cut down the grape vines at the end of the season, that way you can fix any structural problems in the pergola at the beginning of the following season.
    So really, the question is which you would prefer looking out to every day.

  3. Beautiful, and I bet it is nice and cool under the pergola and those vines.
    The hydrangea is gorgeous too. So lovely there.

  4. Such a beautiful site and yes too eat out there all the time would be wonderful. Even though the wood wears out I am with you it is quite pretty.

  5. That is quite beautiful! I wonder what the difference is between a pergola and a gazebo. I would like to put something in the front yard to provide some shade to the new sitting area where our tree used to be. It wouldn't be able to be very big, though. I'm sitting in the area right now, and I'm thinking it would have to be about 6 by 6 feet. I don't know if anything that small could be built or not.


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