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Pergola Perfection: A Journey through History and Versatile Design Options

by Heather Day / July 22, 2023

When it comes to creating enchanting outdoor spaces that blend beauty and functionality, few architectural features rival the allure of a pergola. These elegant structures have graced gardens and landscapes for centuries, evolving in style and material options to suit diverse preferences and purposes. By now, you’ve seen our most recent project, Steel & Cedar, in which we highlight a charming pergola perfect for the Texas backyard landscape. In this blog, we embark on a captivating journey through the history of pergola design, exploring its enduring charm and the myriad of style options and materials available today. At Native Edge, we believe that a well-crafted pergola can transform any outdoor area into a sanctuary of relaxation, while embodying the principles of sustainable and environmentally responsible landscape design.

Heavy cedar timbers are joined with exposed hardware to form the structure of this pergola, topped with corrugated metal roofing that protects this gorgeous outdoor kitchen space from the elements. The back wall of a pergola cleverly houses spacious storage concealed behind sliding barn doors.

The Roots of Pergolas: A Historical Overview

The origins of pergolas can be traced back to ancient civilizations, from ancient Egypt to Rome. Initially serving as shaded walkways or passageways, these structures provided respite from the scorching sun and often supported climbing plants, creating a natural canopy. As the concept spread throughout the Mediterranean, pergolas adorned Roman gardens, draped with vines and foliage.

Varieties of Pergola Styles

Classic Mediterranean Pergola

Inspired by the timeless charm of ancient Greece and Rome, the classic Mediterranean pergola exudes a sense of elegance and simplicity. With sturdy columns and clean lines, it becomes a captivating focal point in any landscape. Adorned with climbing plants like bougainvillea or wisteria, this style infuses vibrant colors and delightful scents into the surroundings.

Zen Pergola

Embracing the principles of Zen gardens, this style reflects simplicity and tranquility. Crafted with natural materials like bamboo and timber, the Zen pergola provides a meditative space, inviting a sense of calm and harmony to the garden.

Contemporary Pergola

Celebrating modern aesthetics, the contemporary pergola features sleek lines and innovative materials like metal and composite options. This style harmoniously complements contemporary architecture and design, adding a touch of sophistication to outdoor spaces.

Rustic Wooden Pergola

Radiating warmth and charm, the rustic wooden pergola celebrates the beauty of natural materials. Crafted from reclaimed wood or rugged timber, it adds authenticity to the landscape, seamlessly blending with the surrounding environment.

Partial Pergolas

Occasionally, only a bit of shade for seating or plantings is needed, or you're simply looking to highlight a particular area or feature in your space. A partial pergola may provide the perfect solution. Plant with vines and let even a small space become a dreamy focal point.

Materials for Pergolas: Exploring Sustainable Options

Cedar Wood

A popular choice, cedar wood combines elegance with sustainability. Sourced from responsibly managed forests, cedar is naturally resistant to decay and insects, making it a durable and eco-friendly option for pergola construction.


Renowned for its rapid growth and renewability, bamboo is an excellent eco-conscious choice for pergolas. Lightweight yet robust, it creates a Japanese Zen-inspired pergola with ease.


Materials like aluminum and steel offer contemporary pergola options. These metals are durable, weather-resistant, and can be recycled, making them a sustainable choice.

Recycled Materials

Embrace sustainability further by using recycled materials such as composite decking or salvaged wood. Integrating recycled elements reduces environmental impact while adding character to the space.

Throughout history, pergolas have stood as timeless symbols of elegance and beauty in outdoor design. From their ancient origins to contemporary interpretations, these open structures continue to captivate our imaginations and enhance the allure of outdoor spaces. At Native Edge, we believe that pergolas not only provide shade and architectural elegance but also exemplify our commitment to sustainable and environmentally responsible landscaping practices. Whether you seek a classic Mediterranean retreat or a Zen-inspired haven, our expert team can bring your pergola dreams to life, merging style and sustainability for a truly transformative outdoor experience. Let us craft a pergola that aligns with your vision, turning your garden into a sanctuary of relaxation and serenity, while embracing the principles of a sustainable future.

Steel & Cedar: A Stunning Pergola Takes Center Stage

by Heather Day / July 15, 2023

At Native Edge Landscape, we believe that outdoor spaces are canvases for artistic expression and harmonious design. In one of our recent projects, we had the opportunity to create a breathtaking pergola that seamlessly blended with the surrounding environment while showcasing the unique artful taste of our clients. Join us as we explore the captivating details of this design and the meticulous craftsmanship that went into creating a truly remarkable outdoor space.

Cedar and steel pergola perfectly accented by large scale decor
Finished back patio with two Trex decks and large steel and cedar pergola. Furniture and styling is midcentury modern.

The Pergola: A Perfect Fusion of Steel and Cedar

The focal point of this project is undoubtedly the large pergola, which we carefully constructed from steel C-channel and rough cedar purlins. The combination of these materials resulted in a striking aesthetic that effortlessly marries strength and natural beauty. The warm tones of each play off one another and come alive in the sunlight, while the alternating basketweave layout of the slats offer even more visual interest as well as variation in the provided shade. The design concept was carefully planned to ensure the purlins fit snugly into the channel, cleverly concealing any visible fasteners. This attention to detail adds to the sleek and streamlined appearance of the pergola, elevating its visual appeal and rustic elegance.

Working in Harmony with Nature

One of the most remarkable aspects of this project is how the pergola and the clam shell-colored Trex deck were thoughtfully designed to complement and highlight the existing large red oak tree. Rather than overshadowing or competing with its natural beauty, the design gracefully worked around the tree, creating a harmonious coexistence between human craftsmanship and nature's elegance.

Mid-Century Modern Charm with an Artful Twist

While the overall design of the space exudes mid-century modern aesthetics, what truly makes this project stand out is the clients' unique and artful taste. Their personal touch can be seen in the selection of decor, furniture, and subtle embellishments that add character and personality to the space. The result is a stunning blend of timeless design principles and the clients' individual artistic expression, creating a truly one-of-a-kind outdoor sanctuary.

The view from the secondary TREX deck, overlooking a zen cactus area against the cedar fence. Ground is hardscape with pavers and blackstar gravel.
The view from the secondary TREX deck, overlooking a zen cactus area. Deck is decorated with terra cotta statuary and steel planters with cacti.
A portion of the client's cactus collection in gorgeous stone planters against a cedar fence
The patina of the steel C-channel perfectly compliments the clients' existing decor
Vintage Brass Eagle on the siding of the home
Client's existing art installation in corner of the back yard
Clients' existing art stool placed on a field of blackstar gravel
Steel C-Channel with Patina Perfectly Matching Clients' Existing Firepit
Cedar and steel pergola perfectly accented by large scale decor

Craftsmanship that Inspires

Every element of this project, from the pergola's construction to the careful integration of existing natural features, is a testament to the exceptional craftsmanship of the Native Edge Landscape team. With an unwavering commitment to excellence, our designers and craftsmen brought the clients' vision to life, transforming their outdoor space into a work of art.

Finished back patio with two Trex decks and large steel and cedar pergola. Furniture and styling is midcentury modern.

The large pergola in this project serves as a striking centerpiece, combining the remarkable simplicity of steel and cedar to create a visually striking structure that harmonizes with the surrounding environment. Through careful design and meticulous craftsmanship, we successfully incorporated the clients' artful taste, resulting in a space that reflects their unique style while embracing mid-century modern charm. At Native Edge Landscape, we take pride in creating outdoor spaces that are not only aesthetically stunning but also deeply personal and reflective of our clients' individuality.

If you're seeking to transform your own yard into a captivating art space, we invite you to contact Native Edge Landscape. Our team of experts is ready to bring your vision to life, combining artistry, sustainability, and conscientious craftsmanship to create an outdoor sanctuary that is truly extraordinary. Let us inspire and elevate your outdoor living experience today.

Native Edge on Queer Eye Season 6

by Rowan Marney / January 7, 2022

We have exciting news! We were featured in the newest season of Queer Eye on Netflix along with our sister company, Garden Seventeen! You can catch us on season 6 episode 6 titled “Community Allied”. Garden Seventeen provided plants, pots, and fountains, while our team did all the hard work in transforming Dr. Jereka Thomas’s space. This yard transformation was the largest in Queer Eye history, and we are so thrilled to have been a part of pulling it off! It was great meeting and working with Bobby and the rest of the designers and production team. Let us know what you think of Dr. Jereka Thomas’s transformation!Below, we have some behind the scenes shots from the hero's home, as well as some screen captures from the episode!Read More »Native Edge on Queer Eye Season 6

Pergolas: A Perfect Fit For Any Outdoor Space

by Rowan Marney / December 29, 2020

Pergolas are a durable and low maintenance option to help define your outdoor space.

Pergolas are an extremely popular feature for outdoor spaces. Not only do they add value to your home, they are affordable, versatile, and easy to install in any space. Pergolas can be built out of many different types of material such as wood, metal, and plastic. They also can be fitted with a canopy, retractible or not, to add a bit more shade. Pergolas are structured to be durable and low maintenance so that they're ready to be used, no matter the weather.Nicer to look at than other shade options such as awnings, pergolas can create a cohesive look with the home while adding a sculptural and architectural aspect to the space. They provide extra privacy as well as shade and temperature control, making relaxing under one during the heat of the summer a breeze. Pergolas can be a simple structure, or contain added features like a canopy or moveable beams to create added shade. Pergolas can be simple in design or complex with added features, making them completely adaptable to the space they fill.Not only are pergolas nice for homeowners, they are great for plants that couldn't normally survive direct sunlight. Pergolas do not completely disrupt sunlight or air flow, creating optimal growing conditions for plants. They also provide a great opportunity to add vining plants to the base of the structural beams, giving them plenty of room to grow vertically.If your backyard has been lacking that certain something, try looking into having a pergola installed! These highly customizable structures help define outdoor spaces while adding a bit of extra shade. Pergolas can be built to fit just about any space, making them a top choice for a landscaping structure.