Garden Structures

Garden Structures

Shade structures in the garden are nothing new. Many names, some interchangeable and some overlapping, designate shade constructions: belvedere, gazebo, pergola, summer house, pavilion, garden house, ramada, lath house, patio, and arbor. To minimize the confusion, and offer a little historical perspective about them, we’ve illustrated many different types of garden constructions underneath.

Shade constructions covered just sufficient to diffuse direct sun or could be roofed over solidly. They can be elaborate garden living rooms or sheltered nooks that are uncomplicated. Their style can match or blend together with the fashion of any home or garden. Most are constructed as separate, freestanding structures, but they also can be built to take advantage of an existent wall or fence.

More elaborate constructions to make shade can be covered or enclosed together with the same stuff employed for veranda roofs. In addition to aesthetics, other factors become much more important if you are planning a structure whose sides can also be enclosed although not just a roof. Just how much air circulation does one need? Do you want to create maximum solitude? Do you want year-round summer shade that is only or shade? Considerate selection of design and stuff is important.

Walk that is covered, or the pergola, dates back to the very first known gardens. Pergolas are traditionally built using beams, often considerable, and pillars and rafters, with the addition of vines, which dampen and decorate the construction or simply may envelop. A spacious, large scale pergola may have seats or benches. Ina not cold-summer climate it could let you move in regards to the garden comfortably, even at noon. Additionally, it may provide shelter for shade plants in hanging planters, or in containers or beds close to its north or east edge.

An arbor is essentially like a pergola, except that it exists for its sake, rather than as a covering to get a pathway. It is a shaded bower created vines and by wood. Trellises are occasionally a component. Its design is often simple, even arcadian.

The lath house, normally freestanding but normally connected to the home, is more frequently designed to offer shade than for folks, by situating garden furniture among its fuchsias although you can make a wonderfully comfortable living area, tuberous begonias, and ferns. Although maximum privacy let vines cover places of lath wall, but be careful not to cut out too much air circulation and light.

Some of the very graceful were assembled in the gardens of colonial Williamsburg. Several of the less graceful were built during the Victorian era of heavy iron. Regardless of the type of garden and your own house, a garden house can be built in a simple modern design that blends in well, or in the same fashion.
Your garden house can possess a floor of wood, concrete resurfacing, flagstone, brick, tiles, or gravel (although gravel is practical only if seats are stationary). Attractive flooring can be made with wooden rounds, stone, or brick, with gaps filled by a low ground cover, including Corsican mint (Mentha requienii), if there is enough light and moisture.

In case you reside in a place where mosquitoes, flies, or gnats region problem, consider screening in your garden house. You might install folding louvered panels, to increase the versatility of your construction. Plants in containers or hanging baskets are an appealing embellishment plus a link together with the garden. Even the simplest garden house could be wired to permit the utilization of music, lights, and electric fans.

Your garden house can serve multiple functions. For example, it could comprise an attractively tool shed that is enclosed, or outdoor cooking and dining facilities and potting region. It may house a hot tub, and all of it or part can function as a dressing room nearby the pool or hot tub. You can design a garden house that functions as an easy shelter from the sun and a vantage point or a shelter that provides in addition the majority of the comforts of a dwelling-across-the-garden.

Whatever kind of shade construction you select, consider calling in a landscape architect or an architect perhaps and for consultation for the design itself. An expert gets the information to create the structure that can best suit your needs and also to assist you avoid errors that are expensive, unfortunate.

Patio Roofs

Patio Roofs

One of the protection structures that are most popular is a veranda roof that is simple. Its building can be rapid and economical. The kind of patio roof you choose determines how strong the framework must be and how far apart the rafters will be spaced.

If you need a lightweight, simple-to-install roof that accepts diffused sunlight, consider plastic shade cloth over rafters that are widely spaced. In most climates it is useful to soften sun on plants than to provide shade for individuals. You may have noticed shade fabric used at nurseries to protect places for flats of other soft plants or seedlings. In its simplest form it resembles colored window screen. Sometimes the garden or nursery supply shop that sells it can tape edges and install grommets to your specifications. Or it is possible to fasten it. Leave a slight sag. Edges are light weight, durability, and low cost. A special edge, if you need only a roof that is seasonal, is that shade cloth kept and can be readily removed.

Other veranda roofs that are not difficult to remove from rafters and to keep are woven woven and reed bamboo. They form an attractive mottled shade and look more natural than protection material. Like shade material they can be relatively affordable. If bound by wire rather than twine woven reed lasts up to four years and bamboo five years or longer.

Also removable is sailcloth, many folks’s favored veranda roof because of its attractive looks and simple adaptability to many styles. Canvas is among the least long-lasting materials, but is fairly affordable and one of the simplest to replace.

Fiberglass and plastic panels are other cheap materials for roofing a patio, but they aren’t easily removed for seasonal storage. An edge that they share with sailcloth is providing seclusion from overhead windows, notably desirable within an urban garden. Unlike sailcloth, they acknowledge light and heat. The truth is, they trap heat and create a greenhouse effect. By the same token, however, they can be a bad choice for a hot south- or west-facing patio, as they collect an excessive amount of heat and inhibit air circulation.

Wood, in various forms, is the most used covering for outdoor living spaces, mainly because it permits air circulation. It can be comparatively cheap— lath, lattice, and grapestakes; or somewhat to quite expensive wooden overhead constructions spacing and whose size can change significantly. If you choose wooden overheads (often 2 x 3s or 1 x 2s, laid on edge), remember that not only their spacing but also the direction they truly are put determines how much shade they create. For most shade plants, the lath should be set north south so the bars of sun move across the plants. Sun from lath which is placed eastwest moves slowly and can scorch many plants that are fine.

Instead of making a veranda roof wholly give some thought to planting vines to cover it partially or completely and minimizing the wooden construction. Some vines are fast growing and supply shade within a season.

Smaller Trees

Besides the trees described below, contemplate Acer palmatum, Acer circinatum, Cercis canadensis, and appropriate Cornus species, all discussed in the Plant Selection Guide section as small trees ideal for use beneath a canopy of tall trees. In milder climates all will grow in full sun.

Chionanthus virginicus (Fringe Tree; Hardy to Zone 5) is deciduous, with a slow growth rate to 20 to 30 feet. Open form, bold leaves and its large throw medium shade. Leaves turn golden in fall, and seem quite late in spring. The masses of small, fragrant, white blossoms that appear in late spring are one of the most exquisite blooms of any plant that is woodland. Dark blue berries ap¬pear in autumn. Unless pruned to single trunk fringe tree will stay shrubby and multitrunked.

Cladrastis lutea (Yellowwood; Hardy to Zone 4) is deciduous, with a slow growth rate to 30 to 35 feet. Its upright branches create a vase shape. The large leaves, broken up into leaflets, turn yellow in fall. The compact foliage makes medium color. Exquisite, intensely aromatic wisterialike blossoms cover the mature tree in June, and the branches and pods are attractive in winter. This can be a tough tree, one which will resist drought, extremes of temperature, and wet or alkaline soils.

Of the many hawthorns, that is perhaps the most beautiful because of its masses of dou¬ ble rose red flowers in late May, followed by sprinkling of 1/2- inch scarlet berries in autumn. The lobed, dense leaf makes medium shade. A spread, crown that is roundish is formed by the tree. It really is susceptible to fireblight; check with the local nursery to find out whether another hawthorn is suited to your area.

The tree forms an upright, pyramid that is open. Its lustrous leaves grow to 6 inches long, loose and open, and throw light to moderate shade. The eye-catching 3-inch flowers, which resemble single white camellias or roses, appear in autumn, often as the foliage turns brilliant orange red. This tree prefers some shade in hottest areas. It’s perfect for the woodland garden, beneath a canopy of taller trees.

Koelreuteria paniculata (Goldenrain Tree; Hardy to Zone 6) is deciduous, with a moderate to rapid increase to 30 feet. This tree is rounded when youthful, flat-topped at maturity. The open branches and bold-textured, compound leaves cast medium shade. Big clusters of bright yellow flowers cover the tree in midsummer or early, followed by fruits like Chinese lanterns, which stay through fall. It’s tolerant of most conditions that are unfavorable.

This upright, vase-shaped tree should be pruned to a single trunk. It makes light to medium shade, and in climates that are hot chooses to grow in a little shade. In May, 18-inch pendant clusters of yellow that is buttery, blossoms that are wisterialike appear. All parts are poisonous to eat but never to touch.

There’s a great deal of variation in habit, flower color, and size among the many varieties, but the species is open and spreading. It can be pruned early as just one-trunked tree, or allowed to spread wide as a multitrunked tree. The leaves are fairly dense, 8 inches long, and make medium shade. The large (5 to 10 inches), stunning, cup shaped flowers appear before the leaves, even during winter in mildest areas. The species has white to rosy-red blooms, while varieties have white, purple, pink, or delicately tinted blooms. The tree blooms while still fairly youthful. If you reside in a place of late frost, inquire at the local nursery about late-blooming varieties.

It has a medium to fast growth rate. Its propagating, gracefully arching growth casts moderate shade. Masses of rosy buds open into pinkish flowers that fade to white. Ornamental reddish yellow 3/8-inch fruit appears in late summer, produced dependably if there’s been some winter cooling; the fruit attracts birds.

It becomes rounded, with dainty, shiny leaves and gracefully pendulous branchless. It casts light to moderate shade. Fruit and blossoms are tiny and inconspicuous. This really is one of the choicest little evergreen trees for light-winter areas.

Pruning for More Light

There are two fundamental methods of pruning both of which are usually needed at some time in the life of a tree. Thinning means to take branches that are whole out, and produces a more open, graceful- looking specimen. Thinning is the most significant kind of pruning you can do if your aim is to permit more light to increase air circulation and to reach the earth. Before pruning any branches, analyze the shade pattern it casts at various times throughout the day and the tree. First remove any rubbing branches, or those who grow toward the middle of the tree as opposed to outward, when thinning a shade tree. Annually never remove more than a third of the branches. Trees react to serious pruning with a rush of vigorous development which can choke the tree and make it more heavy than ever. If you wish to prune greatly, do so in late June or July, when this vigorous response will not be more.

Selectively prune away before removing a major limb little branches if less shade is desired after these branches are removed. No matter what size branch you might be pruning, cut flush, and always prune at a junction of two branches .

Heading back involves removing the ends of the branches to create denser foliage and a more bushy plant.

There are some cases where the garden would take advantage of the entire removal of tree or a large shrub. The passing of time just makes the situation worse, if the plants were placed too close to begin with. Spend time imagining what the area will look like in its lack when deciding which plant has to go. This can be a careful first step that can take some of the worry from an irrevocable decision.

Deciduous Vines

Actinidia chinensis (Chinese Gooseberry, Kiwi Vine; Hardy to Zone 8 grows rapidly to 30 feet, forming woody stalks. This vine climbs by twining, and should be tied into a structure. The 2-inch creamy blooms, which appear in early summer, are aromatic and fairly showy. It’s valued because of its leaves and tasty fruit, both a male vine and a female are essential for fruiting. Plant in light shade to full sun, and protect from strong winds. When you prune in early spring Chinese gooseberry bears on last year’s wood, so make plenty of it.

Galen’ Trumpet Vine; Hardy to Zone 5) is a rapid grower that reaches a height of 30 feet. It attaches to masonry or wood, but should be held by wire or other support once it gets large. Salmon-reddish 21/2-inch flowers blossom in September. The coarse-textured, shiny leaves are compound, each leaflet. For best blooming, plant in full sunlight, It flowers on new growth. Many other members of the genus can function well. Check with the local greenhouse.

Clematis hybrids (Clematis; Hardiness changes) grow fast to 15 feet. These vines twine but frequently need tying. They sport dramatic summer blossoms to 6 inches wide. The leaves are small, their stems twining about supports. Most hybrids bloom on the current season’s development, so prune in early spring. Clematis often appears twiggy, spindly, and dead in the wintertime. This is not a great alternative to cover large regions. Cool, rich, somewhat alkaline soil is required by its roots. Plant deep, with the roots in protection and the top in light shade to full sunlight.

Gourds are annuals. When the earth has warmed plant seeds 18 inches apart in full sun. The vines climb by tendrils. To 20 or 30 feet, vines grow fast with sufficient summer heat over several months and bear nicely. Most have large, luxuriant leaves and yellow flowers. Gourds change significantly in size, color, contour, and texture. Plant in full sunlight, and protect them.

The 5-inch blooms (various colours) appear from late spring to frost. The leaves are dark green and heart shaped. Plant in full sun.

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia Creeper; Hardy to Zone 4), after a slow start, grows quickly to 50 feet. It scales by tendril “suckers” that attach to any surface. Fruit and flowers are not conspicuous. This vine is valued for its five-sectioned leaves, which develop to bright green in summer and spring, 6 inches wide, and brilliant red in fall. Plant in light shade to full sunlight. Its relative, Partbenocissus tricuspidata (Boston Ivy; Hardy to Zone 5), is exactly the same in virtually every respect except that its leaves aren’t lobed. .

Polygonum aubertii (Silverlace Vine; Hardy to Zone 5) grows fast to 30 feet or more, climbing by twining stems. The flowers are whitish, in compact, significant bunches, from spring into fall. These are its great advantage. The leaves are heart shaped, light green, to 2 inches. Plant in full sun. This vine can be pruned in the autumn yearly, to the ground. That is an exceedingly rough, carefree,heat-tolerant plant that grows in almost any land.

Roses must be tied securely or woven into a structure that is supporting. They need full sun, good soil, air flow, and often the same spraying that bush roses want. Plant in full sunlight. Thin and prune out dead wood and crossing branches early in springtime.

Some are mainly ornamental, while wine and table grapes are produced by others. Their stems are woody and not small, development fast to varying. Flowers are inconspicuous, but the big, roundish, lobed leaves are consistently lovely. Plant in full sun. Prune heavily in spring for fruiting. To contour, prune lightly for ornamental use. Check with your nursery or county agent for the best varieties for the place.

Wisteria floribunda (Japanese Wisteria; Hardy to Zone 5), once created, scales quickly to 25 or 30 feet by twining. The stems become hefty and woody with age. Fragrant blue violet flowers hang in bunches 12 to 40 inches in length. White, rose types are also available, and purple. The 16-inch leaves, broken up into many leaflets, turn yellow in autumn. Plant in full sunlight. Prune and thin immediately after flowering, or in winter. By supplementing fertilizer in spring with superphosphate encourage blooming,. This species is hardier than W. sinensis (Chinese Wisteria), which has shorter, more compact flower clusters.

Evergreen Vines

Among the large number of evergreen vines, here are a few of the best for shade structures:

Bougainvillea species and varieties (Bougainvillea; Hardy in Zone 10), once established, are fast growing to 15 to 25 feet. Bougainvillea desires supports that are sturdy and tying, despite its hooked spines and twining stems. Its blooms that are “ ” are actually bracts, appearing over the whole plant spring through fall. Varieties range between scarlet and magenta to orange yellow and white. Leaves are 2 to 3 inches in length, and compact. Prune heavily in springtime, thinning the vine and removing canes from the foundation. The roots are very fussy, so disturb them as little as possible. Great drainage and the sunniest, most popular place in the garden are required.

It climbs by tendrils but gains from tying onto a sturdy support. Masses of very aromatic, creamy, 2-inch flowers appear in spring. The plumelike seed constructions are ornamental in late summer. They create an attractive feel. Plant in light shade or in full sunlight with roots in shade. Evergreen clematis is especially appealing on pergolas, fence tops, arbors, and eaves.

Distictis buccinatoria, previously called Bignonia cherere (Blood Red Trumpet Vine), grows slowly in the beginning, then quickly to 30 feet. It climbs by tendrils that form strong disks, which are occasionally damaging to wood. Strong support is needed by it. The 4-inch trumpet flowers, marked with gold inside and at the base, flower in large clusters from May to November. Flowers open brick red, fading to purplish red. The leaves grow to 3 inches long, and are dark green and compact. Plant in full sunlight or partial shade. Prune in spring to remove weak stalks and stop matting.

It climbs by twining, and wants support that is tough. Masses of buttery yellow, fragrant tubular blooms, 1 1/2 inches long, start blossom for 2 to 4 months. and last in the spring, early late winter or The dense, attractive, shiny green leaves grow to 3 inches long. Prune to thin the vine only after blooming. Every part of the plant is extremely toxic to eat but safe to touch.

Hedera helix (English Ivy; Hardy to Zone 6) grows somewhat or immediately to 50 feet or higher. It climbs by roots that attach securely to rock, concrete, or wood. The dark green leaves are lobed, 2 to 4 inches long. Compact woody mats are formed by the vine. Because it can damage wood and is an aggressive grower, out into the garden as well as onto constructions, it isn’t a choice plant for shade structures. Its hardiness is its primary value. Plant in partial shade or shade, or sun in areas that are cool. Prune vigorously at any time. Many varieties are available.

It may reap the benefits of tying or weaving through constructions, and climbs by twining. Dense clusters of deep-rose buds open white and very fra¬grant in the springtime and summer, or occasionally through the year in warmest zones. The leaves split into five to seven leaflets, are attractive year-round. Plant in moderate shade to full sunlight. Thin and shape yearly, after flowering. Many other species of blooming jasmine are available regionally.

Lonicera hildebrandiana (Burmese Honeysuckle; Hardy to Zone 9) is fast growing to 20 feet or more. It’s slightly twining, but does best tied or woven onto a strong support. The exceptionally aromatic 7-inch tubular flowers open white, aging throughout summer, to gold or bronze. The 6-inch, polished leaves that are dark are beautiful year-round. Plant in sun, or partial shade in hottest places. Thin and form after blooming. Many other species of honeysuckle are regionally available, some fairly hardy.

Passiflora caerulea (Bluecrown Passionflower; Hardy to Zone 8 ) is semievergreen in colder places. It grows to 20 or 30 feet, attaching itself by tendrils. It does best on a lattice that is robust. Its fascinatingly complicated 3 to 4-inch flowers bloom in white, pinkish, or bluish purple throughout the summer. Leaves are five-lobed, blue-green above and gray-green below. Plant in full sun. It forms a heavy mat if not pruned severely and often. Many tropical species that is less hardy are available in warmest regions.

Rosa banksiae (Lady Banks’ Rose; Hardy to Zone 8 ) has evergreen, practically thornless branches that grow rapidly to 20 to 30 feet, requiring stalwart support and some tying. In coldest winters leaves are dropped by it. Its modest blossoms that are double blossom in big clusters from spring into summer. Both a yellow and a white type are available. The white form (’Alba Plena’) is aromatic. The glossy, dark-green leaflets develop to 2 inches. Plant in light color or full sun.

Trachelospermum jasminoides (Star Jasmine, Confederate Jasmine; Hardy to Zone 9) grows slowly in the beginning, to 10 to 20 feet. It climbs by twining, and needs tying or weaving to your supporting structure. The small white flowers blossom in fragrant clusters in the late spring and summer. The waxy, dark green, 2 to 3-inch leaves are exceedingly attractive. Star jasmine requires full sun anywhere. Little pruning is needed, but prune to shape in fall. In popular regions, plant in some shade.