Multifunctional support for plants, or How to effectively hide from neighbors
Some of the summer residents were more fortunate, and they acquire a manor with several adult spreading trees, creating a shadow and cozy corners. But our new country house practically did not have such plantings. And the half-empty section behind the netting the netting was completely open to prying eyes. Therefore, this interesting design arose that meets the specific requirements of our family. I think that our experience of erecting a multifunctional support for plants, which, in addition to its main task, solves some other pressing problems, will be of interest to readers of Botany.
What tasks on the site will help solve an unusual pergola?
Over time, our summer cottage, open to all eyes, turned out to be a source of constant tension, since not all of our new neighbors turned out to be tactful people who have an idea of personal boundaries.
Of course, in order to be able to at least somehow retire with our family, we immediately planted fast-growing trees, shrubs, as well as tall perennials wherever it was appropriate to do so. But, unfortunately, the plants do not grow as fast as we would like. Therefore, the situation required the construction of a structure that could serve as a screen, and at the same time it would turn out to be something like a small architectural form in our garden.
What turned out as a result of our searches is not a simple screen for climbing plants, as it might seem at first glance. In fact, “trellis-canopy-arbor” solves a whole range of problems in our garden:
divides the site into zones;
disguises the summer kitchen and forms a green roof above it, protecting it from the sun and light rain;
serves as a support for vines;
is part of a landscape composition;
and, most importantly, it saves from prying neighborly views.
The main thing is to choose the right shape design
It all started with the fact that in our new country house, approximately in the middle of the lawn, a basketball hoop was found that remained from the previous owners. Since the sports ground at this place was not part of our family’s plans, and the pillar was capital, it was necessary to somehow beat him. The idea of a certain pergola canopy or arbor came to me almost immediately.
But if I used a pergola of a traditional design, I would have to lose a significant part of the lawn, and besides, such a spacious summer kitchen was completely useless to me.
Note: a pergola in landscape design is a canopy on retaining posts, entwined with climbing plants. Pergola usually consists of several repeating sections, which are interconnected by transverse bars. This word came to us from Italy, where originally pergolas were used as a support for growing grapes.
Initially, there were many options for the location of the future structure, but all of them did not fully meet our needs. And finally, one warm spring evening, strolling through the garden, I literally “saw with my inner gaze” the building that needed to be erected here.
The design had to be necessarily curved in the form of the letter "g", located parallel to the house. Thus, the summer kitchen turned into a narrow corridor, which formed the wall of the house and trellis. A green wall also appeared from the neighbors' side, and a section of the lawn remained accessible for landscaping.
Once upon a time in landscape design courses we were taught that in any garden there must be a riddle, an unexpected surprise, lurking behind the bend of the path. Following this recommendation, I decided that it would be very nice if a small pond in a natural style appeared in this secluded corner.
The choice of plants for the "green room"
To prevent the structure from being transparent inside the green room, we planted several young actinidia bushes, over time their creepers form walls, and a little later the roof for the summer kitchen, moving to the side of the cottage, for which wire was additionally stretched from the trellis to the roof of the house .
In our opinion, the actinidia of Colomict is the best vine capable of coping with the task assigned to it. This amazing plant is not only incredibly beautiful (in the male specimens very original white and pinkish spots form at the ends of the leaf blade), but also is unpretentious (practically does not need care, tolerates low winter temperatures below -30 degrees without shelter), brings delicious aromatic fruits - miniature copies of overseas kiwi.
In addition, the location was not too sunny, and actinidia feels good in partial shade. Since actinidia is a dioecious plant, two female and one male specimen were planted to cover a six-square-meter structure.
Over time, numerous shoots with large whole leaves will completely cover the trellis, without leaving the slightest clearance. But the nature of most vines is such that in the first three years, young seedlings build up the root system, and the aerial part grows very slowly.
While our actinidia were still very tiny, the first years of the function of "green walls" were performed by annual fast-growing bindweed (morning glory, decorative beans and others). The first year, the annual dolichos (hyacinth beans) successfully coped with this role, and subsequently, varietal girl's grapes were planted with annual vines, which grows somewhat faster than actinidia and, in addition, provides the construction with a very elegant look in autumn due to the foliage of bright colors.
Stages of construction of the pergola-canopy
In addition to the existing pillar, three additional metal supports were installed with a foundation of a mixture of sand concrete and gravel, which will securely hold the wooden structure. Despite the fact that previously we had no experience in the implementation of carpentry, the structure was erected quite quickly. And only three days later the construction was ready.
We chose the classic junction of the slats, which can often be seen in the design of terraces, trellises, and often fences - a cross-shaped intersection of the slats at an angle, resulting in windows in the form of rhombuses. For the manufacture of the construction, usual inexpensive inexpensive slats of pine wood, bought at a hardware store, came up.
Now, to extend the life of the structure under the open sky, the untreated tree should have chosen a stable coating that would prevent the intensive destruction of wood under the influence of the external environment. Of the several possible options, we preferred a tinting antiseptic, which, in addition to protective functions, gives wooden structures a beautiful shade of various types of wood.
For reliability, we applied two layers on the trellis with an interval of two days. And only in the process of work they realized one small mistake, it would be much more convenient to paint and dry the rails in advance, and after that to assemble the structure. And since it was necessary to paint the finished structure, the intersection of the slats with an antiseptic could not be processed, which may reduce the service life of the trellis, and it was much more difficult to accurately paint in an upright position.
But "experience is the son of difficult mistakes." This omission had no effect on the appearance of the structure, and after processing the trellis acquired a very beautiful noble shade of walnut wood.
Implementation of a plan for landscaping a new corner in the garden
After the construction was completed, a plan for landscaping an updated corner of the garden was implemented. On the front side (facing the neighbors) of the pergola screen, a composition was made from the Thuraga Smaragd, the dwarf Weigel Black Minor and the sedum of the prominent Matron. The undersized bushes of the horned viola and the awl-shaped “Aurea” stonecrop covered the soil under the main elements of the composition and visually tied them together.
Thus, the first thing that guests who come to our garden will see is a bright, stable, decorative group of unpretentious plants, located on the background of a green wall. And the neighbors now also got the opportunity to admire the landscape composition, instead of following what is happening in our garden.
And if you follow the stony path forward, completely unexpectedly, after the bend there will be a small pond spilling under a small rosemary leaves willow, over which the spreading weeping juniper “Horstman. The slender tall juniper rocky “Munglo”, which serves as a continuation of the green wall and a stately “living column”, enhances the intrigue.
Decorative sedges, Siberian irises and hosts grow along the shores of a charming reservoir, among the dwarf coniferous bushes, a loosestrife is beautifully covered with coins, glades of cheerful crocuses and muscari bloom here in spring, which are replaced by a swimsuit and incense in May.
All plants are discreet and have a modest natural appearance, the frogs who immediately chose this place leave no doubt that this is a real natural reservoir. Here, under the canopy of two plum trees, we set up a bench, and now we have the opportunity to relax in a cozy natural corner far from our neighbors' eyes, hiding behind a dense "green wall".
For ease of movement, we placed a pergola screen so that the structure can be circumvented from all sides, and if necessary, quickly get from the summer kitchen to this magical “green room”, and, conversely, it is easy to move from the pond to the summer kitchen, so the edge of the structure removed about 1.5 meters from the fence.
If you look from above, our building no longer looks like the letter “G”, but has a T-shape, thanks to the arch, which will later be twined with actinidia stems, decorating the entrance to the summer kitchen. A similar arch is formed by an elongated bar that connects the “front” wall of the trellis with the wall of the house. Currently, it is entwined with Engelmann’s maiden grapes and looks like a fabulous green door.
Today, our “pergola-pergola screen” is already in its sixth year, but at the same time in appearance it is literally “like new”, and even the lower slats in contact with the ground remain in good condition due to the treatment by impregnation.
During this time, once annual seedlings of actinidia, turned into powerful lianas and reached the very top of the structure, and soon formed a roof over the summer kitchen. Clematis settled with them in the neighborhood, and thanks to such a community of perennial perennial plants, the arbor finally became opaque and without the help of annuals.
A similar corner of "wildlife" has become the most favorite place in our garden. The plants here are purposefully selected so as to maintain continuous flowering around the pond. After the riot of primroses, the baton smoothly passes to the caddan and lemon-yellow cheddar “Cheddar”, and after them the low-key monophonic pale yellow daylily and purple Siberian irises immediately bloom.
In mid-summer, the yellow-lilac gamut is supported by stunted bells (Carpathian, Portenschlag), and closer to autumn a visible sedum blooms. In autumn, a girl’s grape flashes on the trellis with crimson colors.
It is worth noting that this cozy corner was also liked by the local fauna, in addition to the frogs, who settled down firmly in the pond, lizards warm on the coastal pebbles, birds fly to the watering hole on a hot day, the upper beams are chosen by the swallow family as a training ground for the flights of their grown chicks .
But most of all, of course, we like this landscape ensemble ourselves, because we finally have the opportunity to spend time without constant glances and incessant comments from our neighbors.