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.