A Japanese pergola is a great addition to any garden. But why would an average western family be interested in an Asian garden item?
For someone interested in creating a Japanese garden at home this fits perfectly. However, not everyone wants to take their home garden that far. This type of pergola can create serenity within any garden style you choose.
Japanese pergolas are often used as an entranceway to the garden, signifying that this garden space is somehow different and special. A pergola of this nature brings a sacredness and dignity to any garden, whether it be western or Asian-styled.
Some pergolas have a roof on them that is usually open. Vines, such as wisteria, are often grown up the poles to create a deep green canopy.
In general, Japanese pergolas should not be confused with a Shinto Torii gate. These usually consist of two side poles and one or two cross poles on top. This religious item is not really associated with a Japanese garden, as is often misunderstood in the west. Gates are used, but they are often shingled and might have a door as well.
Pergolas can also make great additions to the house, as in an extended awning. They can also be much larger and have a patio underneath where you can relax in the shade. Whatever size you go with, aim for something that blends well with your garden. An air of exoticness and originality are great for your serene space, but don’t let it drift into gaudiness. Having other trees shrubs or rocks surrounding it will help it blend into the environment. A Japanese pergola in the middle of a large empty lawn will definitely stick out like a sore thumb.
Some pictures of garden ornaments and pergolas can be found at Japanese themed places like Grand Island Serene Gardens (http://www.grand-island-serene-gardens.com/japanese-garden-ornaments.html). These will help you guide you in your decision of what type and how large of a Japanese pergola is right for you.
Joshua M. Smith, Phd, is a scholar on Japanese culture, a professional shakuhachi bamboo flute player, and owner of [http://www.grand-island-serene-gardens.com]. He received his PhD from Osaka University in Cultural Sociology.