Gazebos in the Landscape

A gazebo offers an alluring way to enjoy the landscape.

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.

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.

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