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Conundrum with pergola!



  • lynscolynsco Posts: 15
    Fire said:
    Can I ask how long you have lived in the house?
    10 years now, the decking has been there about 8 years - the tree when its small and kept pruned is no issue but it can be left to grow very large meaning there at times have been a third of the volume over my garden which then I dont like so much. I’d just like to do a bit more with that corner without getting rid of the decking :) 
  • lynscolynsco Posts: 15
    edited April 2021
    K67 said:
    More than 5 years at least Fire.
    You say the decking is the only sunny place in the garden but you want to put a roof over it and block the sun with a covered structure. My neighbours have one with a perspex roof and they have had to put a sail inside as it gets too hot.
    As already suggested a sail that can be taken down to empty the bits it collects.
    Has the deck always been there or is it a new addition?
    Thats interesting re the perspex issue! I didnt want to cover it entirely, the wooden roof would provide partial shade only.

    we added the decking, when we moved in that corner was taken up by bushes, so we didnt realise how much actually came off the tree until we cleared the bushes and lived with the new decking a couple of years :) 
  • I think the general message is that you can’t really alter the existing situation and it would be a greater loss to the garden and wildlife to have the tree gone. As it is a rowan, it will never get all that big. I realise this doesn’t help when your experience is that the tree creates problems for how you would like to use that particular spot, but it is probably something you’ll need to work around as it can’t realistically be changed. What to do? Well, for one thing, you do have the power to relocate the deck. With a small and relatively upright tree, you won’t have to move it very far to get it out of the ‘fallout zone’. As others have said, a pergola is inadvisable if the bits and bird droppings  really get on your nerves. So you have an option of installing a seating area in the form of an arbour, if that is the only spot that catches the sun. If however your greater priority is to have open sky above your head, then a pergola still isn’t ideal, but by moving the deck you’d have the option of doing the following: replant a few carefully chosen plants under the rowan, put the deck around 2m from the rowan and perhaps have an arch at one end. You could then sit on the deck part and have an arbour-like effect at one end, while also making the most of the area under the rowan and indeed the tree itself as part of your ‘borrowed landscape’.

    Half the secret to gardening in small spaces lies in learning how to work with what you’ve got (rather than what you imagined you’d achieve!). So, for example, I’m wondering why it is that you want to cram in both a lawn and a deck into the small space. You need to decide on your priorities as to how you are going to use the garden, and work round the limitations. Do you need both a lawn and a deck? What will you do on a tiny lawn that you wouldn’t do on the deck with less mowing and more opportunities to sit outside? The fact is that you’ve worked out for yourself that the deck is in the wrong place—so the solution is clear: either move the deck or give up on a deck altogether (or sacrifice part or all of the lawn), and then use that space differently so that you make the most of it. A wooden structure would add more screening from the end of the garden for sure, but a pergola won’t work to sit underneath, so an arch or arbour is the way to go, it seems to me.

    I do sympathise with your plight, because my garden is half the size of yours and there is exactly one spot in it that gets sun. It’s been a business juggling height changes, walls and the rain shadow they cast, drainage systems, and the rest. It’s taken me a long time to get things to a point where I’m happy with them, and it’s taken a lot of compromises along the way. I’ve gradually learnt what can be kept tidy and what really can’t, as well as how to maximise the appearance of space and use borrowed landscapes from neighbouring gardens. The one thing I’ve learnt is that you can throw money and effort at solving one of these tricky design problems, but you really never get around them—you just have to live with them and change your plans to fit. It does work, trust me!
  • I have a pergola and use retractable shades. They are very light and can easily be shaken to get leaves and things off. They are beige and don't show the dirt too much. They also come with winter storage bags which they fold into all winter. I am not advertising but they came from a company called Nesling. I am sure other companies also do similar. 

    "To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul." — Alfred Austin
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,343
    Lynsco,it was the pergola he was building, the arbour had been there a few years.Trees neighbours, Huh, been here 10 years, massive firs,they have never touched..We remove overhanging branches
  • tui34tui34 Posts: 2,713
    @D0rdogne_Damsel    Wow!  That's some chic pergola!!  Love the colour - looks good against the natural stone.  Do you serve teas and lunches there?  
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

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