Garden structures represent classic focal points within a landscape. Ranging from a simple antique column to an elaborate garden gazebo complete with spa and outdoor fireplaces, garden structures create visual interest and a point around which your landscape can develop. They can also provide a secondary retreat or entertainment center. They can be practical and sturdy or whimsical and ethereal.
Types of Garden Structures
Garden structures make for a long and varied list. That list would include:
- Outdoor gazebos. Popular in both public and private gardens, most gazebo designs resemble Victorian-style structures. However, they can be designed to suit any setting, even a modern landscape design. Generally, they are open-air structures, but screen-in gazebos are certainly practical for mosquito-ridden areas like Houston.
- Garden arches, also called garden arbors. This classical element of landscape architecture creates an entrance. Or, when arranged in a series, highlights a pathway. They can be either decorative or functional.
- Pergolas. A shade structure often built over a deck or patio. Also called an arbor or lattice, they can be used as a trellis to support vines. Pergolas are outstanding additions to a patio design that has a covered outdoor room because the pergola’s open fretwork creates a transition space between the full shade of the room and the full sun of the yard.
- Garden and wall trellises. A trellis is an outdoor structure that supports growing plants, usually vines. A durable garden trellis works well in a Mediterranean landscape design, for example, with its emphasis on fresh vegetables, straight from the garden to the outdoor kitchen.
- Rose pillars. These single columns covered in flowers, such as roses, honeysuckle, wisteria and bougainvillea, add variety to your landscape. Place them along paths, beside a luxury swimming pool, or by doors and gates.
- Pedestrian bridges. Bridges make eloquent statements. One of the most famous gardeners of all time, Claude Monet, built a bridge over his pond and memorialized it in many paintings. Bridges work particularly well within a Japanese garden.
- Antique garden structures. Outdoor antiques make a good-looking landscape even more memorable. Items include marble urns and columns, stone benches and gates.
Garden Structures: Other Ideas
While the first thought for these structures are for a home landscape design, they have potential within commercial landscaping. A gazebo or pergola in a commercial landscape design makes your property stand out. It also creates a lovely, temporary retreat for your tenants—when they need a quiet lunch or a quick break.
Outdoor structures will be enhanced by landscape lighting, whether simple or intricate. Landscape lighting not only increases the security of your property, but it heightens its beauty and the pleasure it provides. By creating highlights, spotlights and shadows, your landscape becomes magical in the nighttime setting.
Whatever your landscaping ideas are, just know that you’re in good company. In his later years, Monet developed a passion for botany and was always on the lookout for rare varieties, no matter the expense. “All my money goes into my garden,” he lamented. But later he admitted: “I am in raptures.” Yes—a beautiful garden, filled with charming garden structures, will do that to you.
Call Exterior Worlds to discuss building an outdoor structure in your landscape—713-827-2255. Since 1987, they have specialized in high-end landscape services and design for the greater Houston area for fine communities like the Memorial Villages, including Piney Point Village, Hunter Creek Village, Bunker Hill Village and Hedwig Village, Tanglewood, River Oaks, West University and Bellaire. Website: www.exteriorworlds.com.
For more the 20 years Exterior Worlds has specialized in servicing many of Houston’s fine neighborhoods.