Pergola or Gazebo – that is the question?

I live in inland rural Spain on the boarder of Murcia and Alicante. Two years ago my wife and I had a new villa built on a large plot of land near the small town of Pinoso, equidistant of Yecla, Jumilla and Fortuna. A large portion of the land we left to the existing almond and olive trees, but sectioned off a sizable piece to build a garden in keeping with the surrounding area – we had already made the decision to use wood where possible for such items as a pergola, gazebo, decking, shed, fencing, etc.

When the spanish builders finally left the site, the area we had designated as our garden-to-be (surrounding the villa) looked pretty much like a wasteland, which was a little disheartening. However, after giving it some thought, I came to the conclusion that it was merely a blank canvas onto which we could paint/construct our ideas.

We agreed on certain central features around which we would create our garden, the first two being a gazebo and a pergola, the latter leading to it from the terrace. I’m a practical guy, but I knew something as important as a gazebo and pergola required a professional touch if they were to stand the test of time; in other words I didn’t want to have to repeat the expense of building these items in the near future. We wanted an octagonal gazebo with a raised wooden floor, and a pergola built over a broken marble and cement pathway, which I was going to build. After trawling various garden centres, websites and brochures we came across a professional carpenter based nearby, Woodworks Direct – it’s strange how easy it is to miss things right under your nose.

I was pleasantly surprised by their helpful attitude and even more so by their prices. What’s more, they were able to build our wooden pergola and gazebo pretty much to our specification, unlike the prefabricated pergolas and gazebos we had seen up until that point. The guys came one morning, and by late afternoon we had a gazebo and pergola, both stained to a dark wood finish. The quality of build was excellent, with all the wood treated against pests and extremes of weather. It became the focal point in the garden to be and now, two years later, the pergola is covered in honeysuckle, and jasmine borders the sides of the gazebo.

The garden took a lot of hard work to bring to what we have today, but having the gazebo and pergola already in place made the job easier as we were able to design the beds and walkways around the two items, instead of them having to fit in around an existing garden. My advice is this: if you have a piece of land with little or nothing on it, seriously think about having a timber pergola or gazebo built first and then work your ideas around them. Plants, trees and shrubs take some years to mature, and allowing this process to take place around existing structures, like a pergola or gazebo, creates a well lived in appearance as the garden ages into a well-established vista of colour and beauty.

In a nutshell: don’t rush in, but think it through from the beginning – and have patience; the dividends are well worth waiting for.

Contact Woodworks Direct now as their help and advice is invaluable.