Creating a bamboo pergola/arbor for under $10!

My new bamboo pergola (many say arbor) which is the entrance to my nursery and wild area

My new bamboo pergola (many say arbor) which is the entrance to my nursery and wild area

What do you do with something as invasive as bamboo? You create something beautiful and functional!

I found a question on Hometalk where someone was asking what can do they do with all the bamboo they cut down. There were a couple answers-make a trellis and so I searched and no one had posted any cool projects using bamboo. Well, I knew at that point that I had to create something functional and beautiful for the garden and solve the problem of what to do with such an invasive plant (bamboo).

The bamboo, from my past experience, is much easier to cut and work with when it is freshly cut down so I asked my hubby to help me create this pergola. I knew I need my hubby’s help to put it together and since he loves (okay likes) helping me create, I set aside today to create my new pergola/arbor. I thought I had to figure out how to drill and screw and make it look natural and so I was making all these plans to work with my drill when hubby says “do you have any twine?” I said “huh? twine? yeah but it is from the dollar store”. Hubby says “let’s go get some rope because I have an idea”. So off to home improvement store and then to Harbor Freight where we had 20% off coupons and purchased 1/4″ sisal rope @ 100′ for less than $5.

Cut down this bamboo at a client's home

Cut down this bamboo at a client’s home

Note: You need 200′ of rope for this project and Lowe’s has this 1/4″ sisal rope for a little less than $7-I know this because we ran out and had to run to Lowe’s.

We cut 4 of the largest diameter bamboo at 7′ for the uprights and then cut 2 @ 5′ for the top. We then cut 8 bamboo @ 22″ for the cross members and then 4 @ 30″ for the top which make the 45 degree angle to help sturdy the pergola. You can use more bamboo if you wish-the final look is personal.

You will want a pair of pliers to help pull the rope tight. It makes a huge difference if you pull the rope tight! Look up YouTube videos on  the clove hitch and square lashing.  It took watching different ones to figure it out and square lashing worked for us. None of the knots or lashing are quite the same but they are very similar. Check out my post on Hometalk just in case I missed something @ http://www.hometalk.com/4106823/create-a-bamboo-pergola-arbor-for-10

Bamboo is a very zen look (in my opinion) and the bamboo will dry turning light brown and may need some tightening later on. I love the simple look and now have to figure out what to grow on it for next spring.  I have some pieces left and I hope to get some time this week to work on some more bamboo projects.

Creating is not a science but an art. I love finding ways to use materials that otherwise would end up in the dump or the shredder. If you do not have access to bamboo, then put an ad on Craiglist asking if anyone has some they would let you cut down. I would bring a cordless reciprocating saw and 2 batteries. That is what I use. A hand saw will take you forever! LOL A note of caution: spray the ends with a sealer like Flex seal or rubberized coating so there is no way of it rooting if it is still too green when you do this project.

Happy gardening!

Creating, inspiring and gardening without the rules!

 

Separated it by size

Separated it by size

Measure out approximately 6' of rope for each

Measure out approximately 6′ of rope for each and put the rope in a pot like we did helps keep it from tangling!

This beginning knot is called

This beginning knot is called clove hitch (Youtube it)

Now you add the first cross member and start 'lashing'

Now you add the first cross member and start ‘ square lashing’

Start bringing the rope around

Start bringing the rope around

This is called lashing-it is very strong hold-do not forget to use your pliers to pull the rope tightly after you go around the poles once

This is called lashing-it is very strong hold-do not forget to use your pliers to pull the rope tightly after you go around the poles once

The first member attached!

The first member attached!

 

The sides of the pergola/arbor are done

The sides of the pergola/arbor are done

Can you see the pliers? Pliers work great to pull the rope tight

Can you see the pliers? Pliers work great to pull the rope tight

I am going to stake it down I think and we have to take off one side and start over -did not catch that the sides do not match LOL

I am going to stake it down I think and we have to take off one side and start over -did not catch that the sides do not match LOL

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