A gazebo is an open post-and-beam building that has five to eight sides and is topped by a peaked roof. Derived from a mock-Latin word meaning "I shall gaze," gazebos originated in the Victorian period. Design elements, just as in your home's interior, can add flavour to your summerhouse gazebo. Arbors can be stand-alone projects, but can also serve a specific function in your landscape.
For the home by a mountain lake or in the middle of farmland, design your gazebo with rustic elements. Roughly-hewn log posts and railings, set under a cedar-shake roof with a natural slate floor, blends into the landscape. Furnish with Adirondack chairs. A wagon wheel chandelier and a few crocks spilling over with annuals finish off this simple and peaceful setting.
Start with a cobblestone floor and add a Mexican tile dining table and wrought iron chairs. Set in terracotta stepping stones as a walkway to your Mediterranean summerhouse gazebo. Surround the structure with a wrought iron railing and add window boxes of the same material, planted with bougainvillea or bright red geraniums to finish off this building with a Spanish flair.
Add a thatched roof in the style of a palapa, or Caribbean umbrella, on top of a bamboo post and beam structure. Build in a tiki bar with hanging paper lanterns and a woven ceiling fan to bring a tropical feel to your backyard landscape. Surround the gazebo with a garden of broken shells, hibiscus and beach grasses. Roughly hewn bar stools and a few shells gives you the next best thing to a trip to the Bahamas.
Build a white-painted wooden arbor and add simple scroll work for a taste of the Victorian in your yard. Train grapes, clematis or wisteria to grow and intertwine, providing shade and visual interest to your arbor. Hang a porch swing from the arbor and set it at the end of a walkway to make it a special destination your guests will want to visit.
Covered Walkway Arbor
Bring a long, boring walkway out of the mundane by building a covered arbor the entire length of the walk. Train grapevines, wisteria, honeysuckle or English ivy to provide shade on a hot day. A brick walkway under your feet and a bird feeder or two complete the look.
Set an arched-top, wooden arbor as a gateway where your rose garden and sidewalk meet. Train climbing roses to grow over the arbor. Keep the rose vines that grow up and out either trimmed back or weave the vines into the structure itself for a neat and full look.
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