Arbours, Garden Archways & Pergolas

Pergolas, arbours and arches are a source of some of the most acute of all garden pleasures

The visual contrast of architectural line with twining plant, the gardenly satisfactions of plants trimly tied and trained (or wantonly trailing), the sensous dangling of fruit or flower just within reach – but above all perharps, of the subtle interweaving of interior and exterior, the special feeling afforded only by structures like these of being both inside and outside at the time.

The experience of walking, sitting beneath such open plant-covered structures is qualitatively different both from the experience of sitting beneath or among trees, and also from the sensation of being within a more solid structure or buildings. Inside a pergola or an arbour we are not removed from the sights and sounds and smells of the garden outside, the playful movement of light and shade, the touch of breeze, the passage of the clouds overhead – indeed we experience all these things with a sort of heightened consciousness, as if the framing device of the structure called our attention to what before was mere vacant air.


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