Pergolas have increased in popularity over the past few years. Pergolas are open, outdoor structures made of columns and overhead crossbeams, often mistakenly called pagodas. They’re usually covered with flowers or vines and are used in yards and gardens as a peaceful place to relax. If you add one of these captivating structures to your property, here are several ways to care for your pergola.

Use a Canopy

The principal use of a pergola is to provide a shady escape from the sun’s rays. This can be easily accomplished with the use of retractable pergola covers. These covers, or canopies, are made from durable cloth that comes in hundreds of colors and patterns to match any decor. They’re waterproof, withstand wind and can be retracted in seconds any time you like. Pergola canopies also come in a variety of sizes.

Plant Climbing Flowers

One of the easiest ways to beautify a pergola is to plant climbing flowers around the perimeter. These flowers will wind their way up the posts and over the top of the pergola where they’ll drape down and bloom in an explosion of color. Some of the most beautiful plants to use are morning glories, climbing roses, wisteria and grapevines. Always remember to keep plants trimmed, especially grapes that become heavy as they grow.

Keep It Clean

Most pergolas are made of wood, but some models are made of vinyl or plastic. When it comes time to wash your pergola, at the beginning or end of a season, look for a detergent that’s made specifically for outdoor surfaces. Use a hose to remove the soap and all accumulated dirt and debris. If you’ve got mildew stains, scrub them with a solution of one cup of bleach to one gallon of water and rinse.

Add Paint or Stain

Some people like the look of paint or stain on a pergola. If you live in a particularly dry region, high-quality paint applied to a pergola will help protect the wooden surface. On the other hand, if it’s made of an attractive material such as western red cedar, use a stain to preserve its rich color against weathering. Clean the pergola thoroughly and make any repairs before staining and sealing it.

Adding a pergola to your yard makes an attractive area to relax or entertain guests. Adding flowers and a protective canopy will further increase its beauty and protection from the sun.

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