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Gazebos in the Landscape

A gazebo offers an alluring way to enjoy the landscape.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Good Looks

      A pretty collection of plants surrounds this traditional gazebo.

      • -- Open sections of a gazebo offer a good spot to integrate plants in window boxes.
      • -- Placement of the entrance and furniture orients the view from the gazebo -- here, toward other planting beds.
      • -- A gazebo can also help define a yard's border, especially if the gazebo's back is aligned with a fence.
      • Most gazebos have one defined entry point, which allows for more natural (and usable) placement of furniture.
      • If lighting inside the gazebo isn't required, nearby landscape lighting can help with safety and ambiance.
    • Charmed Life

      Fabric dresses up this simply styled gazebo.

      • Since most gazebos have sides that are open to the elements, outdoor-safe fabric drapes offer a solution to shield sun and the view.
      • Informally spaced pavers lead to the gazebo's entryway.
      • Gazebos with open sides provide a good spot to include hanging baskets.
      • Gazebos can have built-in elements, but a completely open floor plan offers more flexibility in furniture arrangement and use.
      • When designing a gazebo, pay attention to the small details. This one includes extra touches such as a rounded cap piece at the rooftop.
    • Graceful Gazebo

      An attached patio offers design inspiration.

      • Utilize a gazebo as a natural extension of your deck.
      • Sides of a gazebo may be left open or screened; the latter will likely increase gazebo use time as it keeps out insects and even light rain.
      • Create consistency between house and patio by repeating details and materials. Here, the rail design and wood stain from the house are repeated on the gazebo.
      • Curves in the surrounding flowerbeds echo curves on the gazebo.
      • This gazebo's location under several large trees offers natural shade protection.
    • Lovely Lattice

      An ordinary material gets a facelift in this pretty gazebo.

      • Lattice is an oft-used material in outdoor structures, but here it's put to unusual use: filling the space between the columns of the gazebo.
      • Placement of paths around the gazebo encourages wandering in, out, and behind the structure.
      • Consider planting the landscape for the view from the lawn and from the gazebo; here, pretty flowerbeds offer interesting color and foliage.
      • Smaller gazebos fit neatly into bigger garden beds; this one nestles nicely between several.
      • Both outdoor furniture and a concrete pad allow for no-fuss maintenance.
    • Second Life

      A classic farm structure gets reincarnated as a gazebo.

      • With a few adjustments, a small outbuilding can also be repurposed as a gazebo. Here, a former corn crib gets a new life.
      • Placed at grade, pavers provide a pretty pattern underfoot.
      • Purple flower boxes at each "window" offer a sweet pop of color and foliage.
      • Charming details add character to a gazebo, such as the metal "shades" over the window and the winged sculpture over the door here.
      • Wood is a good gazebo standby material, but the wire frame and metal roof of this version require minimal maintenance.
    • Pretty Panorama

      A covered structure offers a scenic vista.

      • While many gazebos are placed at grade, an elevated version can take advantage of views.
      • Choose outdoor-ready couches, chairs, and tables, as well as "wet" rated lighting to furnish your gazebo.
      • A gazebo placed close to the house may be easier to wire for electricity -- a bonus if you plan lots of nighttime use.
      • Smaller gazebos may not need multiple light fixtures, but an expansive one such as the one in this gazebo requires overhead and ambient illumination.
      • Ensure an elevated gazebo has safety railings to prevent falls.
    • Under a Blue Sky

      An open metal structure defines a pretty spot for relaxing.

      • Some gazebos are for shelter, while others, such as this one, offer purely decorative elements in the landscape.
      • An overhead candlelit fixture supplies nighttime ambiance.
      • Hanging baskets define the open walls.
      • When a gazebo has no sides, use plants to stand in for walls.
      • Widely spaced pavers interspersed with grass eliminate the need for a formal floor.
    • A Bed of Roses

      A compact gazebo offers a bit of romance in location and design.

      • If candles provide the only illumination, consider adjustable height fixtures for lighting flexibility.
      • Plenty of off-the-shelf details, such as these charming, gently curved roof brackets, lend individual style to even the most basic of structures.
      • A cupola with vents offers a bit of airflow for the roof structure.
      • A smaller gazebo can supply a more intimate setting, with space just for a table and a few chairs.
      • Elevated just one step, this gazebo's separation from its surroundings gives it a sense of place in the landscape.
    • Yellow and Bright

      A cheery gazebo displays an arresting sense of style.

      • Outdoor fabric provides pattern for the cushion covers, walls, and drapes.
      • A small nook offers a storage spot for a collection of orchids.
      • A built-in bench around the perimeter eliminates the need for moveable furniture.
      • Striped flooring shaped into an octagon supplies the floor with visual interest.
      • A delicate metal ceiling light, address plaque, and cupola provide additional appealing details.
    • 10 of 11

      Open Air

      A stripped-down gazebo creates a clever endpoint to a deck.

      • The gazebo reinforces the casual style of the deck -- simple flooring planks, no railing, weathered wood.
      • Gazebos can be self-contained structures, or they can form a natural extension of a nearby deck or patio.
      • As demonstrated with this gazebo, a structure's open sides offer a chance to direct the view toward a section of the landscape.
      • If the garden is casual, a formal path to a gazebo may not make sense. Instead, use flowerbeds and stretches of grass to direct visitors to the structure.
      • Built-ins are nice, but not necessary. Here, containers filled with pretty blooms offer plenty of color.
    • 11 of 11
      Next Slideshow Xeriscaping

      Xeriscaping

      In many parts of the country, water resources are becoming scarcer. That's why it's a good idea to landscape your home using waterwise techniques. Called xeriscaping, this process will help you have a less thirsty backyard. Here's how to do it.
      Begin Slideshow »

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