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Gazebos

Although gazebos make outstanding architectural features in the garden, they are also practical, offering shelter from the sun and a comfortable place to relax, entertain, or read. They can also be used as potting sheds or to store garden tools. Gazebos come in a wide variety of styles from rustic to very formal. They can be designed to be part of patios or decks, or they can stand alone in the garden and make dramatic focal points. Small gardens can be planted around gazebos, and climbing vines such as roses or clematis can be trained up and over their tops to provide even more charm. Gazebos can be custom built, but less expensive kits are available from garden centers, home improvement stores, and online sites. The following should be considered when buying a gazebo:

  • Think about the style of gazebo you want. A gazebo is traditionally a small eight sided building on a slightly raised platform with a wooden floor and often with a copula on the top. A good design will have details that harmonize with the style of the house; for instance, Victorian gingerbread or colonial railings.
  • A gazebo that will be used for entertaining should be large enough for a bench or several chairs so that it can comfortably accommodate more than one person. Ideally there should also be room for a table for serving food and drinks.
  • Gazebos can be open, but if you plan to use yours mostly in the evening, screened walls are a good idea. If your gazebo will be a decorative garden shed, you should have a sturdy door that can be locked.
  • Wood is the most traditional choice of construction material. Because gazebos will sit outside all year, a good quality weather resistant

    wood will last the longest. Cedar is a good choice as it can be left to weather to a beautiful silver gray. It can also be stained or coated with urethane. Gazebos made from pressure treated lumber are usually less expensive.

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