Well - it has been quite a long haul ... but our pergola is now finished:
A bit about the process after we had set up the main frame: as planned, we put brushwood panels for the roofing ... but we were aware that this only provides a certain amount of shade and was not UV protective ... so, we added some UV protective sheets on top of the brushwood:
- these are quite unobtrusive, but that have definitely increased the shade value and will mean that children in particular are better protected from the sun within the pergola - and there is plenty of room for a large dining table, sun loungers and children's playmats and paddling pools ... so, it should be very good for families:
The next thing to do was to build the 'balustrade/fencing', leading from the pergola and running along the pool-side facing the house .... the idea being to 'soften' the rather stark rectangle of the pool and also provide some privacy for those using the pool. We used the same sized oak upright posts and these had to be set into concrete in what was now very, very hard clay/earth - taking care that the height of the balustrade was going to work with the pergola and that a simple framework of horizontal rails provided a framework to take the brushwood panels:
At either end of the balustrade we set the posts wide, to take some 'planting room' for the climbing plants that we will grow along the balustrade ... but this meant that some angled joints were required to allow the horizontal bars to fit the uprights - well, we had a bash and they are not too bad! We also decided to sand down the 'rough' oak, as people ( and children particularly) are bound to lean against, swing from etc the balustrade - and oak splinters from rough wood are not at all nice .... so, the whole thing was sanded. As the whole construction has been made of pretty substantially-sized oak, we have used a combination of high-quality, rust-free screws and long bolts - so, the whole framework is very strong:
So, we are pleased with the result - and now we have to work on the design of the walk-way that will lead from the pergola back to the house ... but the building of this is an Autumn job!
Simon lives at Nichoir, Le Bruel, with his wife Noella. They moved here in May 2013, with their Newfoundland dog, Oska, and their cat, Snufkin. Together they have set out on an adventure to create what they hope will be home from home for family and a rather special Chambres D'Hotes for guests.
Simon & Noella Mauger, 'Nichoir', Le Bruel, 81340 Lacapelle Pinet, TARN, France