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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Quick history of the Pergola

Centuries ago the pergola was built in European gardens and walkways to provide partial shelter, shade and a place to grow flowering vines and fruit bearing trees. Their popularity in the Mediterranean countries soared during the Renaissance. The Italian word "pergola" actually means "a close walk of boughs".  Just outside of Florence the Medici Villa of Il Trebbio still displays an original pergola from the 15th century.

When Charles VIII of France invaded Italy in the late 1400s, the use of pergolas spread out into the French countryside and by the 1600s a signature point of any French nobility's garden would be a gathering place under a pergola.

What is not as well known is that pergolas were also being built in the garden's of the wealthier residents of Egypt as well. Ancient Eqyptian gardens regularly featured grape vines trained up the posts of pergolas. Fruit trees such as pomegranates and figs also intertwined along the support to create covered walkways. Pergolas also surrounded garden ponds as another means to escape the searing desert heat.

There is no mystery as to why the pergola is still a highly desired addition to any backyard landscape design. They add an element of style, romance and sophistication while also providing practical uses such as shade and plant support. Find out how to build a pergola in one weekend and start enjoying your yard in a whole new (old world) way!

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