The traditional use of arbours and pergolas in the garden has been as a well defined entryway or as a passageway between two distinct areas of the garden. These structures are often used as the climbing framework for vines or more typically as the classic rose arbour. The arbour also functions well as a unique architectural vista in the garden or as the framework for statuary.
A more functional use for the arbour is as a shade structure in the form of a pavilion. By employing a trellised roof varying amounts of sunlight are allowed to filter through providing interesting shadowed effects throughout the year. It also provides an area of relief from the hot summer sun.
The inclusion of arbours in the landscape can allow for a unique design opportunity. The individual architectural elements of a house can be repeated on this garden structure in the form of trim styling and beam end treatments. The result is a structure that fits well into the landscape and ties the style of the house and the design of the garden together with a sense of harmony.
The use of wood for these forms of landscape detail were most prominently displayed in both British and French landscape architecture in the 1800’s. Classic examples of this architecture are displayed in many historical garden books and are a good reference to the range of possibilities in style and structure.