A garden gazebo is the ultimate garden structure within your landscape architecture. It fits nicely into your home landscape design, whether your property is vast and varied or a small garden design. As a focal point, a garden gazebo gives viewers a place to visually rest—the mind can go there and take a breather, even on the busiest of days.
Garden Gazebo: Shapes
The eight-sided gazebo was popularized by the Victorians who may have viewed the octagon as having utopian qualities. This theme was certainly picked up by the amateur architect Orson Squire Fowler, who wrote a book entitled “A Home for All” in the mid-1800s extolling the virtues of the octagonal house. Be that as it may, the eight-sided gazebo is pleasing to the eye and to the imagination.
While the octagon is the classic shape for a gazebo, other geometries work, too. For sheer simplicity and elegance, you can’t beat a square or rectangular gazebo. An oval gazebo appears soft and inviting. When choosing a dimension, let the architecture of your home and the topography of the land be your guide.
Garden Gazebo: Material Matters
The structural aspect of garden gazebos runs the gamut from sturdy to whimsical. Most often, they are made of:
- Treated wood. Whether painted or stained and sealed, treated wood is the most popular choice for gazebos. It is also one of the most traditional. A white, wooden gazebo looks pristine and wholesome, especially when combined with a garden arch covered in flowery vines. All these elements can turn a regular garden into an English garden design.
- Painted aluminum. Durable aluminum is another good choice. Its properties make it a likely choice for the Houston climate—resistant to rot and able to endure the Gulf Coast weather.
- Hardiplank™. This fiber cement plank product made by the James Hardie Company has become very popular in Texas since 1990 when the company started marketing itself here from Australia. The material is made of a combination of stone, quartz, sand and fiber, materials that can withstand our varying temperatures and humidity levels. It is so well-made that its planks come with a 50-year limited warranty.
- Stone or brick. A substantial material like stone or brick makes a beautiful gazebo, especially in an Asian-themed or Japanese garden. In fact, what we now call “gazebos” have been a mainstay of Asian gardens for millennia.
Garden Gazebo: Other Considerations
A well-designed landscape plan will integrate a gazebo with other hardscapes, like pathways and landscape lighting. “Pathways can have a big impact on the landscape and the experience one perceives as they transition through the garden,” explains Jeff Halper, landscaping specialist with Exterior Worlds. The experience changes with your material choice—gravel or flagstone, for example—and what is planted along its borders. Gazebos really come alive at night with the right lighting, creating a vivid and shining image on the darkened landscape.
You can improve upon your deck design by adding a gazebo at one end or corner. Include built-in benches and tables or buy some fabulous outdoor furniture and you’ve created an outdoor room to be enjoyed by all.
Commercial landscape design can be enhanced with gazebos, too. They create a memorable property when viewed from the street level and they also give your tenants a quiet retreat during a hectic day.
Call Exterior Worlds to discuss building a gazebo in your landscape—713-827-2255. Since 1987, they have specialized in high-end landscaping services for the greater Houston area in fine communities like the Memorial Villages, River Oaks, Tanglewood, Bellaire and West University.