The best way to shade a pergola

You will have a pleasantly cool space and sufficient privacy in a well-shaded pergola. Shading will protect you not only from strong sunshine but also from rain and gusts of wind. Among the most popular solutions are external textile screens, awnings, sunbreakers or climbing plants such as ivy or Virginia creeper.

Types of pergola shading


Awnings are the simplest means of shading for outdoor terraces, winter gardens and pergolas. They will protect you from strong sunshine and even mild rain. They can also be installed later. They are installed straight on the pergola structure, either above or under the roof.


They are usually mounted directly under the glazed or horizontal roof of the pergola. With their appearance they resemble, for example, Roman blinds and are controlled using a crank, cord or electric motor.


Climbing plants on the terrace are one of the most beautiful and environmentally friendly solutions. Use grapevine, ivy or Virginia creeper. A green roof or wall will maintain a pleasant climate for you but you must take care of it – prune and water the plants, and clear fallen leaves.
In summer, blossoming trees will cool down the space next to the terrace and partly protect you from rain as well. Shrubs, in turn, give you privacy.

Natural shading and orientation of the pergola to the cardinal directions

Climbing plants are one of the nicest options. You can shade your pergola with grapevine, Virginia creeper or ivy. Greenery creates a pleasant atmosphere and healthy air. However, it is more demanding in terms of maintenance – you have to prune and water the plants and clear fallen leaves.

If you are planning to build a pergola and are thinking where to install it, use trees and plants on your plot as natural shading. 

External roller shutters for a pergola

They provide privacy, can block strong sunshine and you can hide behind them from rain and wind as well. Textile screens are popular in particular, but you can also choose classic roller shutters made of aluminium or eco-friendly materials such as bamboo and reed.

Textile screens

The advantage of external textile screens is that you can see through them outside but nobody can see inside your room from outside (except that it is dark outside and have a light on). They are excellent to insulate light and heat, creating a pleasant climate. In addition, the “zip screen” form is more resistant to wind than aluminium roller shutters.

Traditional aluminium roller shutters

They provide good thermal insulation and darken spaces. They will also serve as protection against thieves if they are mounted on all the sides of the pergola and are closed overnight. Their drawback is that compared to screens you cannot see through them outside and, combined with a wooden pergola, are not as attractive.

Roller shutters made of bamboo and reed 

Roller shutters made of natural materials are the most eco-friendly solution together with climbing plants. Roller shutters made of bamboo or reed are the best match for traditional wooden pergolas.

Three ways of mounting roller shutters on a pergola

Installation directly into the structure

In this version, the box with the roller shutters is installed directly into the structure of the pergola, so it is not visible at all. Mounting is done during the construction of the pergola. This is the most expensive solution.

Installation between the vertical supports of the pergola

The box with the roller shutters is mounted between the vertical supports of the pergola. It is used most often during later installation. The box is visible with this installation and slightly reduces the clearance height of the opening.

Mounting on the face of the pergola

Another type of retro installation of roller shutters on a pergola. The case with the roller shutters is installed on the face of the structure. At the same time, however, it does not reduce the clearance height of the opening.

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