There is a distinction to be made between the various terms used to describe what are quite similar patio structures. You may find that other sites or sources of patio building information use a slightly different nomenclature. In the end, it isn’t critical that there is only one name for something as long as you understand what that item is, right? Great, so let’s talk about the patio or garden trellis.
Here, we are talking about the patio trellis. These are nothing more than structures used in a patio or garden space that add dimension, depth and character to the space. Typically, they are constructed of wood, though metal trellises exist as well. In fact, wrought iron trellises or some made with copper can look quite elegant and provide wonderful visual dimension to your space.
A trellis is related to other popular patio structures, the pergola and the arbor. Where we would make the distinction here is that while a pergola is often used as a cover for your patio space, an arbor can be used as a stand-alone structure in a garden space and a trellis is more ‘two-dimensional’. It can certainly be the support for climbing vines and other plants, like both the pergola and arbor as well.
This brings up another term that can be used when talking about such structures, the garden arbor. Garden arbors, are unique in their own right. We would talk about an arbor as a type of smaller pergola. Most pergolas consist of four posts and have beams and a lattice-type roof. They can range in size, but a 10’x10’ pergola could be considered average. A larger arbor could also have four posts, but might be something more like 4’, 6’ or 8’ wide by 2-3’ deep. In other words, you could put a nice garden bench beneath it or have it over your garden or patio entrance. They serve a nice function in this way. Again, like the trellis and pergola, greenery may grow all over it, creating a type of shaded cover all its own.
In the end, don’t get too hung up the name of the patio structure you are wanting. The only way to really find what you want is to do a search. As you are able to refine your search and see the names and pictures of exactly what you are after, then you can make a better decision about it. If that ends up being called a pergola that you want to build, then so be it. If you are looking for more of a ‘background arrangement’, we suggest looking for a suitable patio trellis.