The Well-Seasoned Gazebo

By: Kathy Moran

There’s no question about it – America has fallen in love with gazebos. If you have any doubt, just look around. You’ll see them in backyards, front yards, and side yards, in public parks, overlooking rivers, lakes, and ponds, standing alone, or integrated with decks. Indeed, the gazebo is no longer just a backyard decoration. Over the years, as its popularity has increased, people have been coming up with hundreds of new uses for it. At the same time, its image as a fair-weather structure has also been changing; the gazebo is now a building for all seasons.!p>Everyone has different ideas about gazebos. Many people look upon them as their personal sanctuaries, where they can enjoy their gardens, catch up on some reading, or simply take a nap. Some like to use their gazebos for hosting parties, dinners, brunches, and weddings. For others, gazebos are like extra rooms that are separate from their houses. Then, there are those who turn them into summerhouses, cottages, guesthouses, or home offices. No matter what use you have in mind for your gazebo, the good news is that you don’t have to abandon it when the weather gets cold. These days, it’s very common for gazebos to be equipped with electricity, plumbing, heating, hot tubs, ceiling fans, special lighting, insulation, storm windows, and every other amenity that you would expect to find in a house. Another great thing about the year-round gazebo is that, with a bit of creative decorating, its beauty can be renewed time and again throughout the year. On special occasions, such as weddings, a gazebo can be turned into a fairytale vision, when it is lavishly adorned with white ribbons, roses, carnations, and baby’s breath, along with the wedding theme colors. Beyond the monumental events, a few seasonal decorations can turn your gazebo into a spectacular showplace. In the springtime, hanging baskets and planters of flowers are a beautiful way to welcome the warmer weather. Many people also add pastel bows and decorative flags for Easter. In the summer, some simple red, white, and blue crepe paper streamers and ribbons, along with Old Glory, will turn your gazebo into a picturesque focal point for an old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration. When autumn comes around, pumpkins, Indian corn, stalks, and russet leaves will have everyone’s thoughts turning to the huge Thanksgiving feast that’s just around the corner. For the ultimate in holiday splendor, however, there is nothing quite as breath-taking – or as nostalgia-provoking – as a gazebo decked with colored lights, holly, pine branches, wreaths, and a Christmas tree. Besides being a fantastic sight to behold, this is also a great site for caroling.

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