Pergolas are thought to have originated in Ancient Egyptian times, when they were made from timber and may have been used for the purpose of shading from the sun or as a style statement! They may also have been used an important tools in growing plants including figs and vines.
The Chinese were also early adopters of the wooden pergola as a garden structure, with typical usage in a temple garden to create shade from the sun.
The 18th and 19th centuries saw pergola usage in decline as a garden structure, as other garden features such as the arbour increased in popularity. With the invention of aluminium came a new dawn of pergola design, with free standing and non freestanding models now a firm fixture in modern garden design.
The modern pergola, incorporating panels, rotating louvers and even heating elements, has the capacity to provide an extra room in the garden.