Enjoying the weather in Australia, and most especially on the Mornington Peninsula is essential. What better way to do this than to make your back garden more usable. Depending on your budget, you could either put in a veranda, patio arbor, or you could purchase gazebo kits.
We actually think the pergola is a perfect option, providing structure, shade and the opportunity for some really imaginative planting.
What is a Pergola?
A pergola is designed to give style and aesthetic value to your yard. It is usually open on top, and its structure allows vines and climbing plants to provide color, beauty, and sweet-smelling blossoms in the area. Pergolas are the choice of landscape designers in giving definition to backyards, and given its relative ease in installation, a lot of homeowners choose to build it themselves.
Before deciding to build a pergola, though, familiarize yourself first with what types there are and which one would suit your home best.
Pergola Shapes and Designs
Pergolas can come in any shape and design. Some are circular, while others are rectangular, square, triangular, and even hexagonal in shape.
Circular ones may look very nice, but the rectangular and square shapes are the most popular, as those are the easiest to build and thus, the least expensive. For people who want the look of a circular pergola but the ease of building rectangular ones, the hexagonal shape is usually their first choice.
You can also choose whether to attach it to your house, or set it up somewhere else in the yard (freestanding). Both have its advantages and disadvantages, and it is up to you which to choose. The freestanding pergolas are more flexible and can cover any area in your yard. However, by fixing it to your house it can make your accommodation appear bigger, potentially adding to its value.
Suitable Materials – Wood, Vinyl, or Metal
You also have a choice in the materials you can use. It can be built either with wood, vinyl, or metal.
In choosing the best material, weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each. Wood, of course, looks natural. A garden wooden arch, in particular, lends a rustic and natural beauty to your yard. It will usually match a wider variety of outdoor decorations and can be painted, stained, or designed to meet your needs. It is also cheaper than the other materials.
However, wood will not last as long as vinyl or metal. It will rot at some point, and may splinter and cause a risk for injury to children. It will also need a lot of maintenance, to avoid it being infested with pests.
Using vinyl pergolas takes your mind off having to maintain it or protect it from rot. It lasts longer than wood, but is a bit more expensive and may also discolor through the years.
Metal pergolas are the most expensive, but it is also the most durable. Aluminum is the best choice, since it will not rust unlike iron or steel, and it is lightweight but strong, to boot.
Save A Lot of Money – Build Your Own Pergola
A lot of people want a pergola but think that they cannot afford one. If they hire a contractor, they may indeed end up paying thousands of dollars. However, you do not need to spend that much to build a pergola in your own backyard. The answer to saving money is to build the pergola yourself.
There are a lot of DIY pergola plans in the market today, given that it is relatively easy to put up. It is important, though, to choose which one to purchase. You should be able to source some low cost plans quite easily and this should provide all the information needed for you to build your own structure hopefully giving you step-by-step instructions to ensure that you will produce that perfect pergola, even if you are not a carpenter yourself. If you are intending to do it yourself make sure you get some quality tools.
The money you save by being a DIYer will justify it and the payback is significant.
Whatever type of plan you choose to order, make sure to decide based on its compatibility with your home décor, and most importantly, on your availability to finish building it. Planning well in advance ensures your success in building something which will certainly add value and character to your home.
November – the height of the Spring season. Nothing gets in the way of its traditions, including work. Well, almost. On the first Tuesday of every November, the seventh race at Flemington in Melbourne is known as the Melbourne Cup. If you are staying in the Mornington Peninsula then it is a great opportunity to participate in an exciting day and experience a little bit of history. It has been running since 1861 and over the years a certain tradition has developed on this fine day. Ladies wear their new hats and frocks for an all-day strolling fashion show. Some guys wear outfits they wouldn’t be caught dead in at any other time or place, be it outrageous or impossibly British formal. The champagne flows, bands play, celebrities mug for cameras and money passes the tote.
A grand diversion with a grand consequence. So focused on frivolity (instead of working) were the residents of that city that it became an official day-off work holiday. Woo hoo, no more need to think of a bogus reason to skip work to watch the ponies! But why celebrate this two mile race in just one day? The party at Flemington lasts for a few days, giving ample opportunity for corporate sponsorship and desperate to be seen glitterati to milk it for all it is worth.
“That’s Melbourne,” you might say. Why would other states care? Well, everyone wants a shrimp on this barbie. And as no one else gets the day off from work, they take the party to work. Every workplace has some sort of race sweep going. Walking through the Central Business District of any city are many ladies wearing fascinators (a mini-hat of frothy feather and ribbon) fluttering like butterflies on the side of their heads. Party pies, cake slices and the occasional bottle of bubbly appear in work lunchrooms—proper accoutrement to the race doubtless playing on every available television screen.
It is often referred to as the “race that stops a nation.” Indeed, for a short while, it is. While you make think it is odd that a people would take a day off work for a horse race, Melbournians think it odd that on this very same day Americans do not get the day off to vote on Election Day. Go figure.