How to choose a garden gazebo

Gazebos can be an attractive feature which improves the appearance of your garden, as well as providing the perfect outdoor place for entertaining, and essential protection from the weather. Whether you’re after permanent wood gazebos or just a great shade for a hot summer day, the variety of sizes and types of gazebo available allows you to select the most appropriate version depending on your needs and how much space you have.

Each type has its own practical uses and there are a range of prices to reflect this, from a low-cost temporary marquee that you might use just once, to elaborate pergolas that you might want to spend every weekend afternoon relaxing in. Take a look at Tesco direct’s complete guide to buying a garden gazebo to get started.

What is a gazebo?

The term applies to a broad selection of small, freestanding roofed structures that can be placed in a garden, a terrace or on a decking area. They range from simple, open, shade structures to ornate wooden summerhouses.

The frame can come with or without flooring, alongside a canopy that is often square or hexaganol in shape. Popular portable versions are often seen at summer fetes, outdoor dinner parties in the community or local picnic areas as a place to shelter.

Permanent gazebos are bought more as a focal point for a garden or are placed at a vantage point for a nice view. A stand-alone roofed structure can be used as a convenient way to divide a garden or backyard and it’s also possible to purchase a version that can be erected alongside the home to extend the living space into the open air, in the style of a conservatory.

Who would benefit from a garden gazebo?

Bad weather can often reduce the time we spend outside of the house, while bright sunlight makes it uncomfortable to stay in the fresh air without shade. A gazebo can provide cover from the wind and rain, as well as respite from the sun.

If you select a design without an inbuilt floor, this space can be used as a gardening hub to indulge in your hobby. All types of gazebos are popular as relaxation zones, handy for yoga practice, reading a good book or taking a snooze in a hammock. Children enjoy using the area for play and the shade means they can enjoy summertime in the garden with reduced risk of over-exposure to the sun.

Permanent pagoda style structures add another room to your property and can be used for enjoyment or for storage. Beautifully designed wooden gazebos make a striking addition to your landscape. Temporary, easy-to-assemble canopies can be taken with you to the park or used regularly in the garden during barbecues to protect patio furniture, and then can be stored away during winter.

Light-weight and waterproof models are ideal as a gathering area for summer music festivals if you are camping out with friends. They can be quickly placed near your tents to act as a weather resistant venue for hanging out between watching your favourite band.

Gazebos are often chosen as a striking focal point for ceremonies. They can be used as a photogenic and practical place for the vows during outdoor weddings or for speeches during a company garden party.

The wonder of WiFi connectivity also allows you to swap your desk in the office for a seat in the garden if you want to work from home in the summer.

Style and design

Temporary gazebos start off with designs that incorporate a tough steel frame and a waterproof polyethylene cover that is easy to assemble and to store. Side panels can be bought separately to make the structure more enclosed if you wish and these can be made with weather-resistant fabric and drawn back for a curtain-like effect, adding decoration to even the most functional gazebos.

More robust options include traditional or rustic wooden frames, some which include floor panelling and are sometimes known as a terrace gazebo. Pergolas are more like a shaded walkway which could be installed between a house and a garage, while pagodas are oriental-style structures which look especially stylish next to a water feature or pond.

Some modern designs incorporate a PVC coated canopy and curtains with a steel framework. Steel and other metal and plastic options can be used as a carport to protect your car.

Before you buy

The most important decision to consider when you are making your purchase is what size is right for your garden. The smallest size is suitable as a den for children and is usually around 124cm height x 99cm width x 99cm depth. A standard instant aluminium version covers a space 200cm height x 200cm width x 260cm depth with a pop-up design. Larger wood lattice models can be up to 270cm height x 394cm width x 300cm depth.

Pick out a place in the garden where you want to position your gazebo and measure the dimensions of your space exactly so you can select the most appropriate range. Stand inside the area you have selected and look around to ensure there is nothing nearby that would impact on your privacy or your enjoyment.

Select a place that has flat ground and preferably somewhere that would allow access to the gazebo from more than one side. If you are buying a permanent structure then ensure that you will not be blocking access to anything else in the garden such as a shed or summerhouse.

If you wish to put the gazebo on a deck area or tiled terrace, consult the product details to ensure that the model can be secured on this type of surface. If it is an easy-to-assemble-version then check what dimensions the frame and canopy will be when disassembled so you have the right place to store it.

Decorating your gazebo

When you have found the ideal product for you, start thinking about how you will use it. Netting, curtains or shades help keep out insects and make the gazebo more enclosed. Beanbags, deck chairs or garden furniture will allow you to start enjoying your new space. Some families create a kids play room in the garden by adding toys and a rest space. Garden lights, flowers, ribbons, cushions and rugs also help to personalise the new addition to your garden.