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.

Garden-gazebo

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.

Gazebo

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.

Gazebo-wicker

 

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.

Summerhouse-Gazebos

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!

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Comments or questions?

Leave them in the boxes below. Or if you have come across any great looking gazebos online, tell me where, I’m always looking for new ideas and companies to recommend!

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About Rachel Mathews

Professional international garden designer for over 20 years. My mission is to de-mystify garden design and make it easy for people to successfully design their own garden - without needing to spend a fortune!

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