Archives for July 2014

Garden gazebos – How to choose the right gazebo for your garden

Gazebos can make a very attractive and functional focal point in many gardens. They draw the eye down the garden and entice you to go and sit in them and relax with a good book and favourite beverage.


How do you know if a gazebo is right for your garden?

A lot of it will come down to how much space you have available. Gazebos do tend to be at least 2m wide. Yes, you can get them a little smaller than that, but they need to be a certain size so that they look in proportion to their height.

So in really tiny gardens, something of that size will probably dominate too much. The way I tend to choose where, and if, to add a gazebo in the garden is, first, I draw in a circular seating area on the garden plan.

So, once I have designed the lawn main patio area, then if it looks like there’s room at the end of the garden I’ll just draw in a circle to represent that secondary seating area. Then I take a look at the surrounding garden, the overall size, the existing structures like sheds and pergolas, that type of thing.

If there is nothing else that is vying for attention, then I will most likely put a gazebo into the circle seating area.

The reason for the circle is twofold. Firstly, because the gazebo is going to need a solid base of some description to stand on. Secondly, it’s nice to make more of a feature of it, so a circular brick edge with gravel or paving in it and the gazebo makes for a nice feature.

What type of gazebo should you choose?

That is most likely going to come down to the style of garden and your budget. Gazebos, unfortunately, do tend to be quite expensive. The more open style of gazebo, the less the costs because there is less timber and construction involved. So think of one that looks like one of those open bandstands, but smaller.


Scots of Thrapston Gazebo

You can really go to town on the features and styling of the gazebos from copper roofs to shutters curtains and built-in seating with cushions. The best value and prettiest ones I’ve found in the UK are from Scots of Thrapston. I’m sure there are many other types that you can purchase so do your research online, I just find these ones to be the best value with a different variety of stylings and colours to choose from.

Where to buy online?

One company I’ve come across recently (though I’ve not actually purchased from them yet) are Greenfingers. They are a UK based company and currently have a sale on some of their gazebos. They also have an excellent range of garden furniture and garden features.

Gazebo-timberThis timber gazebo is very versatile and can be painted or left plain wood. See more details about it here:

Timber Gazebo details.

They also have this very cute wicker gazebo that would look great in any cottage or natural style of garden. See more details about it here:

Wicker Gazebo details.



What’s the difference between a gazebo and a summerhouse?

I feel I should have come up with a witty punchline, but alas no. As far as I can tell there isn’t a great deal of difference between summerhouse and a gazebo except perhaps the shape. Most gazebos do tend to be hexagonal in shape. To me, summerhouses seem to be like glorified sheds with windows. Whereas gazebos seem to be more attractive in shape and design.


Left – summer house, centre and end – gazebos.

As long as you choose a gazebo that is in proportion to your garden, then they do make a very attractive addition, as well as a very functional and useful place to store the garden furniture during the winter months.

The main factor you should think about when deciding if a gazebo is worth the expense, is how much are likely to use it. If you’re someone that likes to read, write or paint in the garden then a gazebo will give you opportunities to do that when the weather is not hundred percent perfect, especially if you’ve added electricity to it. Even if you never use them, they are still very attractive garden focal points.

Having a solid structure in between the planting, especially if it’s painted a nice colour, visually breaks up the planting and creates interest. Though admittedly a gazebo is a very expensive way to do that. A bench would be much cheaper!

BUT do be warned, garden features alone will NOT give you a stunning garden – you have to get the design layout right first. If you don’t know how to do that then…

Attend one of our FREE Fast Track Garden Design online classes…

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Garden update – sort of…

If you have been wondering what happened to my parent’s garden we featured in episodes 8 and 9 of the Garden Design Show, the one that needed the flower beds updating. Yes, the one where we’d removed a large hedge and mother nature had done her thing and put all sorts of clashing colour combinations together, well here’s how it’s looking now…


Here’s how it looked in May


Garden back in May

So what did we do?

In a word, nothing.

Absolutely nothing, in fact!

I’ve been away for over a month and never got around to doing the planting plan before I left. It’s amazing how much plants can grow this time of year with a bit of sunshine and rain.

Clearly there’s a lot to be said for doing nothing!

There are still some really horrific colour clashes, and yes we will get around to fixing them, but to be honest, it’s so lovely to see everything flowering so prolifically, we’re just going to leave everything as it is until the autumn!

FlowerbordersWorking colour combinations

Kniphofia Timothy

Kniphofia Timothy

Not everything is clashing, thankfully. I particularly love the rusty peach shades of the red hot poker ‘Kniphofia Timothy’ along with the purple foliage of Physocarpus Diable D’or.

Unfortunately next to that combination we had planted a salmon Achillea to carry the colours further down the garden, but alas this year it’s come up shocking pink, so it’s definitely on the ‘to be moved’ list!

I guess the saying about cobbler’s children having no shoes is also true of parents who’s children are garden designers, never getting their garden done! ;o)

 Garden Design Courses

Hopefully my idleness in the garden isn’t contagious and you are still wanting to properly tackle yours! To help you do just that, check out these Online Garden Design Courses.

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