If your garden is missing that touch of pizazz or you would like to add a bit of usable outdoor space to it, a gazebo could be the answer you’re looking for. Known for their ornamental appearance, gazebos come in all shapes and sizes and can be fixed (permanently installed) or temporary (sometimes known as ‘pop-up’).
Although historians are not certain of the precise origin of the gazebo – versions of the structure existed in Ancient China, Japan and Persia – it is safe to say it has become a legitimate feature of gardens all over the world. Early settlers to the United States and Australia used gazebos to help adjust to the warmer climate, whilst in the United Kingdom gazebos began appearing in gardening guidebooks in the early to mid Eighteenth century when the trend for Orientalism was at it’s peak. Since it’s introduction to the British Isles the gazebo has become a permanent feature of the typical ‘English’ garden, providing much needed shelter from the inclement weather that Britain is famous for. The standard design for a gazebo includes a peaked roof (the shape of which is generally square, hexagonal, octagonal or circular), held up by several pillars (usually wood, but often carved to look ornamental), with fencing around all but one of the sides. In some designs the gazebo will be elevated off of the ground and may subsequently be used for concerts or ceremonies. In other designs, the gazebo may be entirely sealed with glass windows so that it can be used in the winter months as well as the summer.
Gazebos are often the focus of a garden, with design elements such as paths, statues and benches leading the way towards the structure. It is common for the architectural style of the gazebo to match the surrounding garden features – in other words, if the gazebo has Chinese gabling and colouring, it is standard for the garden to echo these Eastern influences, perhaps with red maples, blossoming trees and gravel. Summery weather sees gazebos used for garden parties, barbecues and even weddings, though the structures can be used at any time of the year with the help of a trusty outdoor heater. Gazebos can be waterproofed, can be wired into the mains for lighting, and can even have sound systems and permanent furniture installed, though this usually means that a foundation will need to be poured.
For the budget minded, small permanent gazebos can be installed with minimal infrastructure, leaving room for further expansion, or a temporary ‘pop-up’ gazebo can be used when the occasion calls for it. Temporary gazebos do not need a concrete foundation and can be used on grass or gravel. While the pop-up gazebos echo the more permanent structure’s design (the roof is usually peaked and has some decorative edging, but may be made out of fabric or tarpaulin instead of wood), their key differences are that they are are easily assembled and dismantled and do not require planning permission, making them perfect for smaller gardens where space is at a premium.