Well we finally did it!
After some deliberation we went ahead and built a rose pergola.
It straddles the path leading down to La Forge, one of our holiday cottages which you can see with the large Pampas grasses in front of it. Although some think Pampas grass to be a bit 'naff' we really like these. When you consider it's nearly December they make an impact and the plumes look graceful in the weak winter sunlight.
On to the construction and with wood sourced from various builders/DIY stores we aimed to build the pergola with a rustic feel. The timber used is in fact designed for other purposes. For example, the poles across the top are actually tomato supports which have been shaped and turned by hand so in no way do they look machined.
All the joints have been bound with rope which hides the screws and further adds to the rustic theme.
As for the planting, I've (Rob) ordered six rambling Roses from Peter Beales in the UK who ship to France. The original colour plan was pink and white but I stumbled across a red rose which not only looked stunning but was a repeat bloomer, rare in ramblers, so I had no choice but to order it! It's named 'Rambling Rosie' and is a relatively new introduction. I also ordered two 'Mrs FW Flight' and two 'Moschata' so this adds the pink and white. All the roses are being sent as bare root plants and should arrive in a week or two, so armed with a spade and a couple sacks of horse manure I intend to give them the best start possible when it comes to planting.