Gazebos have been fixtures in gardens, parks, and other outdoor spaces for centuries. With a unique roofed structure that offers an open view of the surrounding area, gazebos are commonly used for entertainment and relaxation. Gazebos were originally referred to as summerhouses, kiosks, or screen houses, leading back to some of the earliest gardens in history. These free-standing structures are designed to provide shade and some shelter from the elements. The basic design of a gazebo consists of a roof and pillars to support it. In some instances, decorative lattice or carvings can be found between the pillars. A majority of gazebos are octagonal, with insides that may or may not include benches. The open sides allow occupants to enjoy a pleasant breeze and the natural environment that surrounds the structure. Personal and public gazebos can be found in backyards, gardens, and parks all over the world.
History of Gazebos
People have been building gazebos for thousands of years. The earliest recordings of historic gazebos date back more than 5,000 years to ancient Egypt. The Egyptians used gazebos in their gardens to allow vines to crawl up the structures. Egyptians believed that when they died, their gardens and gazebos would follow them on their journey to heaven. More recently, in Iran, the Persians once used gazebos to conduct business. The Greeks used gazebos in public areas instead of having their own private gardens. These gazebos were generally built around temples and constructed of marble. The Romans, however, used gazebos as private sanctuaries where they could escape and relax.
During the Middle Ages, gazebos were popular throughout Europe. But it wasn’t until the 18th century that gazebos became well-known in the United States. Modern gazebos are available in a wide variety of sizes, styles and designs. Designed for natural areas such as parks or gardens or for urban public spaces such as viewing points or town squares, gazebos are a versatile addition to nearly any area. Today’s gazebos are generally constructed of wood, iron, or steel. Characteristics include plain or decorative elements, different heights, and a plain pitch roof, double pitch roof, or roof with skylight. While most gazebos are octagonal, some can be found that are square.
Types of Gazebos
Gazebos add a personal touch to any landscape, and with so many different styles to choose from, you can be sure that you’ll find something that suits your needs and taste. Vinyl gazebos are among the most popular, as they are constructed of durable plastic and are virtually maintenance-free. Metal gazebos are ideal for public settings, such as golf courses, outdoor concerts, and parks. Due to its stability and strength, metal is difficult to vandalize, and you don’t have to compromise on style. Wood gazebos offer traditional looks that can be customized with flower boxes, benches, and decorative trim. Wood and cedar gazebos are available in a variety of shapes, including circles and ovals.
In addition to types of construction materials used in gazebos, there are also various styles from which to choose. Victorian-style gazebos offer a design and structure that closely mimic the Victorian style of historic buildings. Victorian gazebos are generally made from wood and painted white or left in their natural wood coloring. Pagoda gazebos are also constructed of wood and often decorated with Asian plants, wind chimes, and hanging lanterns. Pavilion-style gazebos are usually large in size and perfect for public spaces. These structures are available in oval, octagonal, or rectangular shapes. Some are equipped with screens to protect against mosquitoes and other pesky insects.
Uses for Gazebos
Gazebos are a place to sit and read, gather together and talk, or host an event. Decorative gazebos offer an elegant and attractive place for couples to say “I do.” Many people use gazebos in their outdoor wedding ceremonies, sometimes covered with beautiful flowers and vines. Gazebos are also an excellent place for family and friends to gather and dine outside. Large gazebos provide plenty of space for a picnic or dining table. Gazebos are also a place to entertain. Whether it’s a quiet night outside watching the sunset or a rowdy evening in the hot tub under the gazebo with friends, these structures are highly versatile. Some gazebos are even portable, allowing you to easily move and transport the structure when needed. No matter how you use your gazebo, its main purpose is to let you enjoy the ambiance of your surroundings in the comfort of a protective structure.