Pergola with attached raised beds

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Project by TiffinMn posted 04-08-2012 02:34 AM 3259 views 2 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this in our backyard over the last week. The red is all prestained cedar playground wood. The rest is pretreated. The pergola itself is 6’ x 8’. Aprox 10ft high. The raised beds vary in size but are attached to the pergola. I still need to do the top slats. The plan is for the vine crops to grow up the sides (adding webbing for that stiill). The bricks and rocks were buried all over our yard. We’ll be staining the pretreated to match the cedar.

I sketched this out beforehand and made modifications as needed.


3 comments so far

View Josh's profile


1234 posts in 3537 days

#1 posted 04-08-2012 04:37 AM

I will be building a pergola for my patio here soon. I’m eager to see your finished product. I like the attached raised beds; pretty cool.

-- Tree, wood, and box lover from Pennsylvania

View TiffinMn's profile


11 posts in 3208 days

#2 posted 04-08-2012 05:30 AM

My original post was short since I had an 11yr old trying to take over my computer.

The big thing with this was to price out my materials. I really did not want to spend more than $300 on it including soil to fill the beds. It should top out at $350 in the end.

I found a huge discrepancy on cedar prices. A $12 difference in price on 10ft 4×4 post lengths. The cheaper place had an employee who did’t seem to have the time of day to help me, blew me off in my mind so in the end I went with the pretreated 4×4 x 10 at the big box store. The cedar was very appealing but double the pretreated price. The pretreated is also rated for ground contact. I sunk the posts 24” down (this takes it down into the clay bed) No sand in this soil its all good heavy stuff. With all the concrete landscaping blocks in my yard a nice hefty one found its way into each hole.

I went back for the playground cedar since the price couldn’t be beat and it matched my existing raised beds that I built out of the same stock 3 years ago. I also spoke to different employees on it, will just stay away from that one. There are also 4×4 post supports in the outer corners of the raised beds. The playground cedar boards are 1” x 6” x 72” and 1” x 4” x 72”.

There is a 4” difference in height between the two ends of the pergola. I found my level in constant usage, also my tape measure as I constantly had to readjust my plans with the landscape slope and some unexpected issues (my kids talked me into an upsize from 6×6 to 6×8 midbuild) I lost count of the number of deck screws I used. I just know there were a whole lot. About 5 lbs of them? One of these days I will get bored and figure it out.

This was all built using only a drill, a shovel, a mitre saw, a heavy duty mallet, multiple clamps, a level, a tape measure, my trusty angle grinder, and multiple pots of coffee. Done in a little over a week. There is a progress blog on it over at Gardentenders.

The attached raised beds give this more of a “sanctuary in the yard” feel. It is more of a room than the standard pergolas that are open to walk in and out on all sides. The vines growing upwards will provide some shade though I think this will be less of an issue once we get the top cross beams in place. We may also add a shade cloth since my family burns easy.

View nuttree's profile


280 posts in 4292 days

#3 posted 04-08-2012 03:35 PM

I love it. Very nice work. I’m building something similar for a local elementary school.

-- I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. -John Muir

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