|If you do outdoor entertaining or simply love to enjoy the pleasures of the outdoors, you can enhance your landscape and enjoy your garden in the pleasant shade of a gazebo. Not just for parks, a gazebo makes an attractive feature for your own yard. Whether you plan to purchase one or build one yourself, the following article offers information about incorporating one of these special structures into your special setting.
Before any construction takes place, you’ll need to carefully consider your space. Gazebos come in many shapes and sizes, so you’ll want to assess the spot before you go gazebo shopping. Because they will most-likely be a prominent structure in your landscape, you’ll want to set it in a prime location; but also consider the view that garden visitors will have. Gazebos are lovely in themselves, but their function is to create a sheltered place where family and friends can rest and enjoy a view of your garden so the scenery is important.
Some people build their gazebos to overlook a water element such as a garden pond. But they may be the centerpiece of a large flower garden. Direction is important—if you love sunsets, you’ll want to be sure your structure has a great view of the western sky. To have an expansive view of your yard, you may even choose to build the gazebo right off your back porch or deck.
Next, you’ll need to visit a garden center or online garden store to look at some gazebos and buy a kit or a pattern; of course, you can most certainly design your own which is what many people choose to do. Naturally, this takes some skill and amateurs will need to further investigate building requirements and methods. But even with pre-set patterns, you will have to make many decisions about building materials and may even be able to incorporate some embellishments to the design if you so choose.
There are many differing types of gazebos from simple open-air wood structures to more elaborate brick and window constructions. In fact, Thomas Jefferson enjoyed a view of his own property at Monticello from an elegant glass and brick gazebo. If your garden or landscape is Oriental in nature, you may wish to incorporate a pagoda-style gazebo. Some gazebos are quite formal in their design and look best in a very manicure landscape, where other structures are built for country charm and would serve best in some nook of a cottage garden.
Many gazebos are built flat to the ground, but those built on pedestals with sweeping stairs are reminiscent of bygone eras. Also, open air models are lovely, but you may find that incorporating screens into the sides will be a great attribute during mosquito season. But your gazebo should suit the needs of your own garden, and with that in mind, you should have no difficulty finding a suitable design constructed of materials that will endure in your climate.
Also, give some careful thought to the roof design—will yours let in light through the roof or will it be needed to protect you from the rain? Your climate may dictate what design you choose. Roofs with airy slats may allow for climbers and other plants to thrive and turn your gazebo into a true living structure. In any case, it is an important feature of your gazebo that should be aesthetically pleasing, but also suit your needs.
Once you’ve chosen a spot and picked out a design, you will likely need to draw a site plan. Having a survey of your land may help in this endeavor. A site plan will allow you to draw your design to scale amidst the flowerbeds, pond, trees or other major aspects of your landscape. Not everyone finds a site plan necessary, but it is a useful way to tie the landscape, gazebo and home in together. Seeing your plan on paper will allow you to make many changed before ever breaking ground—when change is much more difficult and possibly more expensive.
Landscaping around your gazebo is a key element of the overall beauty you can obtain for your setting. In fact, you may even garden on your gazebo—many showcase ivy or other climbing plants. Many gazebos boast flower beds along its foundation walls, but even certain ornamental grasses that require less upkeep could enhance the structure. It may be helpful to visit other gardens and parks where gazebos blend harmoniously into the landscape.
Many builders choose wood for their garden gazebo; it is itself natural and so blends rather nicely with most landscapes even. Of course, many Victorian style gazebos are comprised of painted wood and the paint often makes for a pleasant contrast with all the greenery of a setting. Some fine choices of wood include red cedar and redwood. Be sure to check for wood density that will give some clue as to how well your wood will withstand the elements. Naturally, you will have to protect the wood with finish—usually either apply a preservative, employ a stain or simply paint.
The construction itself is specialized and not covered in the scope of this article, but be sure to hire qualified builders who communicate well and have your design in hand. If you’re doing the labor yourself, you hopefully have the construction wherewithal to see the task completed. Such projects are not for beginners, but even intermediate builders may be able to install simpler plans.
Once your gazebo is built and you know how to maintain it for long life, you can begin to find enjoyable ways to use your new garden feature. The ideal alter for an outdoor wedding, a gazebo lends itself to special celebrations and events. It is the perfect spot for a garden lunch or tea party setting for a little girl’s birthday party. Depending on whether your gazebo is four-seasonal, you may even be able to take your family’s Christmas photo against the snowy backdrop of your winter garden.
The possibilities are endless—from enjoying simple outdoor drinks and card games to the elegant evenings of wine tasting and conversation amidst the roses, your gazebo will be one of the most popular enhancements of your landscape. And of course, it is the prime location to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your gardening labor.