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Climbing Vines That Make Your Pergola Design Come Alive

A pergola is an ideal structure for Houston landscaping clients to invest in. As a structure that only partly open to the sun, it creates an enormous amount of shade without blocking the flow of air. While sitting in a pergola, it is possible enough light to read a book without too much light reflecting off the pages as glare.

The near perfect lighting and temperature conditions of pergola design are made possible by climbing vines that grow along the sides and over the top of the structure. This adds a crucial organic element that also provides the dancing, filtered sunlight that makes being sheltered under a pergola such a definitively unique outdoor experience.

Different types of vines are more suitable for different architectural variations of the basic pergola design. Perennial vines are recommended for people who want the structure to be green year round. Annual vines are recommended for people who want to save on the cost of trimming vines.

Choosing which climbing vines to use to decorate your pergola with is much easier when you partner with Exterior Worlds. Our designers have been trained in botanical science as well as landscape architecture. They know how to match the right plants to the structure they build for you. More importantly, they know how to choose a vine species that will aesthetically tie the pergola design to the surrounding elements that constitute the totality of your landscape design.

It is one thing to look at a beautiful pergola as a beautiful sight in its own respect. It is quite another to look at the same structure and too see it as a climax of design that focuses the entire yard in an elegant form of greenery and color.


For example, the best perennials to use for a shade canopy pergola are fast-growing climbing vines like wisteria and honeysuckle. The latticework sides and the roof rafters are quickly covered as the plants grow, letting only a dappling of light into the interior. For those who want more shade than light, wisteria is ideal. It grows very dense, and its flowers hang down in beautiful clumps. Something like honeysuckle lets in more light, and perhaps is a better choice for those who want more light for reading.

A more sophisticated pergola design is the archway pergola. Archway pergolas can either work like literally arches that introduce the open landscape to the interior of a building. Or, they can extend from one landscape feature to another, forming a covered passageway between two points.

Choosing climbing vines for archway pergolas really depends on the amount of maintenance you are willing to pay for. Obviously, the larger and longer the structure, the more trimming you will need to either do or have done to keep the vine growth under control. There are many annual climbing vines that look superb during their flowering season that will not require this level of care or finance. These include morning glories and scarlet runner beams. The only drawback to annuals is that when they die off in the winter, they will expose the frame of the pergola and the arched roof. The impact this will have on the aesthetic of your yard will need to be worked out in advance with your professional landscape designer.

Perhaps the most well-known type of pergola design is the garden pergola. It is much more than a shady place to sit in, although it is certainly ideal for that. Aesthetically speaking, however, it plays a critical role as a focal point for many garden designs. Lending vertical impact and a certain sense of formality to its immediate surroundings, it can turn a good garden into a fabulous garden if it is built with the right architecture and features the right climbing vines as living décor.

One of the best species to use for a garden pergola is climbing roses. The association we have with gardens and roses makes them ideal for establishing a garden landmark. Make sure you let your garden designer tie the vines to the structure, however, because they must be carefully trained in order to uniformly cover the pergola frame and roof by the time their blooming season arrives.