A pergola is a garden feature forming a shaded walkway, passageway, or sitting area of vertical posts or pillars that usually support cross-beams and a sturdy open lattice, often upon which woody vines are trained. As a type of gazebo, it may also be an extension of a building or serve as protection for an open terrace or a link between pavilions.
Pergolas may link pavilions or extend from a building’s door to an open garden feature such as an isolated terrace or pool. Freestanding pergolas, those not attached to a home or other structure, provide a sitting area that allows for breeze and light sun, but offer protection from the harsh glare of direct sunlight. Pergolas also give climbing plants a structure on which to grow.