Classic Garden Structures –
Gazebos, Pergolas, and Arbors
The landscape isn’t just about what we grow; it’s also about the beautiful and functional things we build.
Gazebos are a structure that provides shade, shelter, and an ornamental feature in the landscape. Often built in a public park, but they can be a great addition to the backyard. Gazebo structures are freestanding with a solid roof for shade, and a shelter from the rain. They usually have open sides, but can have screens to keep the insects out, or lattice for vines to climb on.
Gazebos have been used for centuries beginning in ancient Greece and Rome. During the Renaissance Period, they were built to offer privacy in elaborate gardens of churches and monasteries. In Asia, a teahouse is a form of a gazebo.
Pergolas are a garden structure that forms a shaded walkway, passageway, or sitting area. Vertical posts or pillars usually support cross-beams, upon which woody vines can be trained to grow. Early Egyptians built pergolas to support grapes for wine and raisins. Generally, pergolas do not have walls or a solid roof.
Arbors are meant to function almost like a doorway or entrance/exit from one part of the landscape to another. Often arbors have lattice panels that form the framework for climbing plants. Some arbors are used as a focal point in the garden, with a bench for seating underneath.
These classic garden structures can provide a cozy hideaway and refuge from the bustle and stresses of the day. I use my screened gazebo most nights in the summer to relax and enjoy dinner with my family. This could be a perfect personal oasis for you. Gazebos, pergolas, or arbors make a great focal point for your garden.