Do you know the difference between an arbor and a pergola?If not, don’t worry. You’re in the majority – and we’re pretty sure there are only eight people in the entire country (not counting Martha Stewart) who even know what a pergola is
.That is, until today. In about two minutes, you’re gonna be able to show Ms. Everyday Living a thing or two if she ever stumbles into your backyard looking for information about garden structures … which we hear happens more than it should on her weekend visits to the Hamptons.Arbors
The definition and history of arbors
and pergolas are actually entwined and in many circles the terms are interchangeable, which is what makes sorting them out so difficult.Back in the day – around 3,000 years ago, in Egypt – arbors acted as aesthetically pleasing entryways into gardens that were constructed of arching latticework and then cultivated with growing vines and flowers. Preserved garden plans from this period exist today and the outlines of these arbors are quite noticeable.Arbors are still used in a similar fashion now, although not without a slight detour or two in their historical trajectory. In 14th century England, the concept of arbors was expanded upon to create leafy conversation nooks for what was to become 600 solid years of garden parties – because the English still
love their garden parties.Pergolas
Those leafy nooks have since shrunk back down to entryway size and pergolas
have assumed the place of the expanded style. Once upon a time, though, pergolas provided shade for entire walkways or between garden pavilions, but now they’re more rectangular and consist of thick latticework supported by four outer posts.The result is a kind of shaded area for outdoor seating, although without the addition of leafy growth overhead there isn’t much shade. Even so, that’s how many people choose to rock the pergola. They have such striking design features that they can stand alone as a projected eave (one of their original purposes), a patio cover or a kind of open-roofed gazebo.We hope you get plenty of time this spring and summer for pergola parties, whether they occur with our without celebrity guests.