Pergolas can have heavy or light frames – both visually and literally. If you go for something sturdy but lighter then it will let more light in and won’t seem like such a big feature in a smaller garden.
I often encourage clients to put their dining areas away from the house so you can be more immersed in planting when you’re eating and entertaining. These can also be used to create focal points – in a long thin garden you could centralise your pergola and create a lovely planted vista towards it.
“In an urban garden I would be inclined to put up an iron arbour or pergola and grow a climbing rose over it which you can prune so it doesn’t create too much shade” suggests garden designer Angel Collins. “Rosa ‘Phyllis Bide’ is a beautiful rose with small flowers and which grows quickly.”
Other good options for pergola climbers, says Georgina Newall of GN Landscape Design, include “wisteria, clematis, roses, even grapes. Either strung off the house, or free-standing if space allows, they can be as open or shaded as desired, dependent on design.”