We returned from a trip to the bay area with a “volunteer” wisteria plant from our friends Rich and Jamie. Then, we won a couple of kiwi vines from a raffle during a seminar on fruit trees at Brother Steve’s school. So, we needed to build or obtain a structure to support these vines. Then, I chanced upon an small archway at an estate sale. It would make a nice entryway to a pergola. Looking around the yard, Donna and I decided to locate the vines and support structure on the East side of the house, following our curvy pathway.
Although many pergolas are made with wood, I decided to go with metal. It doesn’t rot like wood, and proper paint and sealing would minimize the chances of rust. I had quite a few 2′ by 8′ very sturdy art grids that would make a perfect platform for hanging vines. To support them, I went with 10′ galvanized EMT metal poles sunk 2′ into concrete. I also used some pvc connectors and large pvc pipe for lateral support.
Since the pathway curves, I overlapped the grids at slight angles so that the 30′ long pergola followed the pathway in a polygonal fashion. The resulting structure is strong and sexy. Now, it is just a matter of encouraging the growth of the vines up the poles and keeping them trimmed as they fill in on top of the grids.