Gallery of Garden Structures
Learn key facts about arbors, conservatories, trellises, gazebos, obelisks, and pergolas.
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Originally a tangle of mature vines or tree branches, arbors have always been about shade. Today, garden arbors provide instant shade. Here, an arbor and porch swing create an inviting resting spot at the end of a path.
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An arbor can also serve as the front door to a garden. This passageway arbor frames a view, drawing your eyes, and soon your feet, through the garden. For maximum effect, flank an entry arbor with a fence or hedge to mask the scene ahead.
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A well-positioned trellis instantly spruces up a neglected corner. Use one to break up a monotonous fence, or as a vertical accent in an otherwise horizontal garden expanse. When choosing a trellis, take your cues from the surrounding structures. A rustic fence demands a similarly rustic trellis; an nearby house with arched windows benefits from a design like this one.
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A glass-enclosed extension of the house, a conservatory brings together home and garden in a year-round celebration of plants. When planning a garden-friendly structure, consider these basics: materials that can stand up to dirt and humidity, a convenient source of water, and some cushioned seating to enjoy the view.
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A free-standing gazebo makes a great garden hideaway. If you're looking to create a private nook, tuck it into a quiet corner away from the house. If you'll be using it for dining alfresco, place it near the kitchen exit. Either way, use materials that match or complement surrounding structure.
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These four-sided, narrow towers have been garden ornaments for thousands of years. Obelisks are most effective when they rise above the surrounding plantings, adding instant height to a garden bed. Use one to draw the eye down a path, or use several of diffent heights to unify a large planting area.
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Pergolas feature a trellislike roof supported by beams. Attached versions are often used to shade decks or patios. Smaller freestanding pergolas can shade a path or create an intimate nook. Transform any pergola into an intimate garden room by surrounding it with dense shrubs and soft-needled evergreens.