This section is from the book "How To Make A Flower Garden", by Wilhelm Miller. Also available from Amazon: The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: Planting and Pruning Techniques.
The word "pergola" is in common use to-day, yet you will not find it in the International Dictionary, unless in some very recent edition. A pergola might be defined as a sort of glorified grape arbour. The only difference is that a pergola is usually a costlier structure, and is supposed to be beautiful in itself. Also, it may be covered with any kind of vine, not merely the grape, as it is erected to display the beauty of lines and of foliage and of flower, the item of fruit being wholly incidental. The old-fashioned grape arbour was a shady retreat where the housewife might sew in peace, and a deal of courting has been done under its gracious protection. The ordinary grape arbour, however, is a rather flimsy structure, which gives way under the eager feet of the small boys who steal over the back fence the first day the green grapes begin to purple. In the winter its frame is usually gaunt and cheerless. The pergola, however, is the delight of American architects to-day, and no great estate is complete without one - at least, wherever formal gardening is anything of a feature.
There is a beautiful pergola at Arlington, near the nation's capital, where one may rest and ponder upon the great spectacle of the army of the dead.