When we started to work planting our forest garden seven years ago there was nowhere covered outside to escape to in case of a shower. As we have plenty of showers in the West of Ireland, we remedied the situation by building an eco-friendly gazebo from materials that we had available. If you would like to make one for yourself you can find tips and instructions in this post.
Now we have a conservatory to escape to when the weather gets tough and the shrubs, trees and climbers around the gazebo have grown big and luscious. The gazebo that was once in an open field has slowly transformed into a lesser and lesser used space. It felt dark and too enclosed and we thought it was time for a change.
We have lovely Jasmine, Wisteria, Clematis and Virginia creeper growing around it and we decided to take the reciprocal roof off and replace it with another reciprocal structure made from wooden slats. This way we ended up with a round pergola with lots of light and sunshine and a strong structure for our climbers.
We will use all the soil from the living roof around the garden and the old beams will be cut up into fire wood.
We put the new reciprocal structure up in about an hour and if you would like to make one for yourself, you can find instructions here.
This is a simpler version and we put the slats up flat first as they are more stable like that and turned them on end one by one when we attached our homemade brackets to the side henges and uprights of the pergola structure. To make it strong enough for the climbers we added sixteen slats of wood in place of the original eight beams.
In the middle we used wire to wrap around the slats as you can see in this picture.
The gazebo was a favourite spot for us for the first few years in our forest garden adventure. We have had many memorable gatherings in it with friends and family. As it grew darker and less used we felt sad and were looking for a solution on how to bring it back into our daily lives.
We are very happy with the idea we came up with and think it is important to keep changing and adapting to the land and garden as it evolves. We are looking forward to many more happy gatherings in our new transformed pergola.
The only constant in life and nature is change.