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Homework: Pergolas, gazebos and pavilions make a yard inviting

A gazebo with insect screens lets you enjoy

A gazebo with insect screens lets you enjoy the great outdoors, mosquito-free, from a cozy retreat. Photo Credit: Fotolia

If you already have a patio or deck, you might not think there's much more to do outside. But there are still other ways to make your yard more interesting.


One of the ways you can enjoy being outside more is by adding an outdoor structure. Topping that list is a pergola, a structure with an open roof made of wooden crossbeams. You can position a pergola to take advantage of your garden views. It can be as large or as small as you like, and as detailed as you like. If you're handy, you might be able to build a pergola in a weekend.

The ground under a large pergola can be covered with easy-to-put-down gravel, crushed granite or mulch, or with the more formal look of poured concrete or paving stones. Plantings around the four corners help it blend in with the yard.

Small pergolas with two posts can be added to make the entrance to a garden more enticing. They can also be used as arbors for flowering vines or climbing roses, or as an attractive way to hang a backyard swing.


These structures also let you enjoy the outdoors from a cozy retreat. Unlike pergolas, gazebos and pavilions have a solid roof. Wooden gazebos can be purchased premade and then delivered to your home, or purchased as a kit and assembled at your home. There are also many options for gazebos made of metal, often with a fabric covering. These can be bought at your local home center or online and assembled in an afternoon.


Even small changes around the yard can enhance your outdoor spaces. Try a small arbor set over a large urn against a fence. This can make for an interesting addition and a focal point in the yard.


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