Labor Day Pergola Project

Labor Day is traditionally a day to rest from labor.  My husband chose to begin a weekend project, which is another way to celebrate the day.  I so enjoy seeing my man working on planned projects.  Feel the love!

Pergola to the Garden Patio

When I first asked my husband to create a backyard pergola, I did not anticipate eventually having four of them!

  • The first one caps the gate leading from the back yard to our burn pile.  It is an ornamental way to define our lot line and hide a work area.
  • The second was built at the head of the stepping-stones that led to the lower level collectible shop in our barn home [above], guiding customers in the right direction.  Who can resist walking under a decorative arch and down the stepping-stones?  It also provided a perch for the “open” or “closed” sign.  The opening is the perfect place for corn stalks in fall and wreaths in December.
  • The third pergola is especially nostalgic.  It crowned the garden path our daughter took to the gazebo in the chapel garden on her wedding day.   We hung flowering planters from its arms and planted roses at its feet for the occasion.  My husband even fashioned a brick threshold, which came in quite handy as it rained the morning of the outdoor wedding and gave us a dry perch.  After the ceremony, the guests were ushered back through the pergola where the bride and groom received them under the apple trees.
  • Now comes the fourth pergola in our collection–The Labor Day Pergola.  I am too excited!  My husband has long-planned to add one over the side door to our plain and boxy garage.  What a difference it is going to make!  The sturdy wooden lattice-like structure adds wonderful architectural interest to our plain double garage and highlights the landscaping.  A flight of stepping-stones already leads to the side door from the front sidewalk.  Now they march charmingly through the pergola into the garage.  A seasonal wreath on the door would add another crowning touch.  My husband is resisting that idea.  “A wreath on the garage?  Nawwww.”  It’s not a guy thing, but the pergola itself is a compromise to my feminine sensibility, letting me think he may eventually give in to decorations on his garage domain. 

Traditional garden structures accent landscape like country sculpture, especially when they are painted white to match rail fencing and our barn home.  Can you have too many?  I’ll tell him when to stop…


About Sharon L. Clemens

Sharon and husband Merle and their children owned and operated a specialty shop and restaurant in a restored dairy barn for thirteen years in a village in Illinois. After closing their restaurant, they converted the barn into the family home and moved their shop to the garden level. They operated a collectable shop as a home-based business for another thirteen years before retiring to the country life. Sharon has been a special feature guest on the local NBC telelvision affiliate and has spoken professionally on topics relating to herb gardening and cottage lifestyle. In addition to conducting workshops and programs, Sharon writes a weekly cottage lifestyle e-newsletter called “Cottage Chat” and a Word Press blog: Seasons of Farm Grove. She has written five novels, The Younger Girl, Door County Cottage, Timeless-A Door County Love Story, Door County Cabin and Door County Escape, love stories with traditional values set in Door County, Wisconsin.
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