Gazebos – great for giving shelter and shade to your garden

A gazebo is a structure that is built in parks, public spaces and private gardens, but away from the main residence.  They can be freestanding, or attached to a wall, roofed and open at all sides.  They may be used as a rain shelter, to provide shade, to provide a place for solitude and reflection or just as a decorative features in a landscape.  They key element of a gazebo is that they are situated strategically to offer beautiful views of the surrounding area.

Structures that are included in the umbrella-term gazebo are alambras, belvederes, follies, kiosks, pagodas, pavillions, pergolas and rotundas.  Archaeological evidence shows that gazebos have been in use for thousands of years in the ancient societies of Persia, Egypt and China.  They were used as a means of shade, for spiritual meditation, for worship and for concluding business deals.

The origin of the word is unknown and it has no cognate in any European language.   Several theories have been put forward that it may have its origins in Islam, Latin Hispano-Arabic or French.  It first entered the English language in the middle of the 18th century when an architectural writer, William Halfpenny, published a book on Chinese architecture.

Gazebos were common in Western Europe during the Middle Ages but did not gain in popularity in the United States until the middle of the 18th century when a new wealthier middle class began to emerge.

Leave a Reply