Patio Pergola Ideas

Providing an extended living and dining area, a patio pergola is an ideal spot for growing plants and flowers. Available in a wide range of sizes, pergolas create a focal point in the garden for a showy display. Covered with bright blooms, the pergola lights up the landscape with color, and when nestled along a backyard landscape or tucked under a shade tree, they create a private oasis.


Let flowering vines fill the patio pergola with their bright and colorful blooms. Oftentimes fragrant, vines shoot up and over the pergola to create a shaded retreat below. Their natural ability to grow up towards the sun and their twisting and twining climbing method make for a flower-filled pergola. Italian clematis (Clematis viticella), a rapidly growing deciduous vine, grows 15 to 20 feet to cover the pergola in no time. The 3-inch purple to blue flowers emerge in mid-summer to light up the pergola through early fall. Resistant to wilt and a prolific bloomer, Italian clematis is a striking vine to grow in full sun. The USDA Hardiness Zones for planting are 5 to 8. Another rapidly growing vine is confederate jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides). Growing 10 to 15 feet long, confederate jasmine is an evergreen vine that keeps its foliage and color all year long, including winter when most other vines have died down. Fragrant, the white flowers of confederate jasmine emerge in spring to light up the pergola. The zones for planting are 8 to 10.


Create a festive glow to the pergola using outdoor lights. Found in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes, outdoor lights bring a whimsical and festive feel to the space. Hung from the "ceiling" of the pergola or nestled at the base of the structure, lights extend the light to surrounding areas of the garden like flowerbeds and borders. Paper lantern lights, a classic light variety, are made of sheer paper and come in a rainbow of colors and shapes. The classic round or square paper lantern is ideal hung from the "roof" of the pergola to create a magical feel to the space. Accent lights like solar lights also create a warm touch to the patio pergola. Staked around the perimeter of the patio pergola, solar lights are an affordable light variety that does not require electricity, but rather are charged by the sun during daylight.


Add containers filled with flowers, plants and herbs around the pergola patio to bring in color and texture to the space. Perennials like coneflowers, black-eyed Susan and coreopsis all withstand drought and heat but without sacrificing their bright summer blooms. Perennial herbs like thyme, rosemary and sage are ideal herbs to grow to use for cooking and grilling outdoors while creating an aromatic scent to the patio. Herb containers filled with annual herbs like cilantro and parsley are perfect for fresh salads and add height and vibrancy to the patio space.

Keywords: patio pergola ideas, vine-covered pergola, lantern lights, flower-filled containers

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer, designer and photographer in North Carolina. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate your indoor and outdoor living environment. Her articles have appeared in and and her photography has been featured in "Automotive News" magazine and