Common Garden Structures

Common Garden Structures Everyone Should Know

Do you know the difference between the many different kinds of garden structures in Utah? If you don’t- no need to worry. Most people don’t! There are several types of garden structures that on the surface appear similar, but that serve very different purposes. Knowing the difference can help you when you’re planning landscape design and speaking to landscapers/contractors. Read this article to learn what the different garden structures are and what they are used for.


According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a pergola is, “a structure usually consisting of parallel colonnades supporting an open roof of girders and cross rafters” Pergolas are often larger than a trellis or arbor, have flat roofs, and are typically attached to houses. Since they are quite a bit larger, they require more engineering and physical support to create. These are great structures for providing shade, creating outdoor “rooms”, and can often be used to grow climbing plants on.


According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a trellis is, “a framework of light wooden or metal bars, chiefly used as a support for fruit trees or climbing plants.” Trellis is a very broad word that can mean a lot of different things. Most people think of a small tomato or vine trellis that doesn’t really catch the eye. Trellis’ can also be a much larger structure that encourages the growth of vines or other plants up the side of a large building. These structures are mostly used for plant growth and have little to do with recreation in a landscape.


Newly built wooden gazebo structure with new roof mounted on concrete foundation with wooden table and chairs overlooking houses and fields in distance

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a gazebo is, “a freestanding roofed structure usually open on the sides.” Structurally, a gazebo and a pergola are about the same structure. They both have open sides, are great for shade and outdoor furniture, and they’re almost always free-standing with structural support holding them up. The main difference between the two is the roof. Pergolas usually have slatted roofs while gazebos provide full shade with a solid roof. Gazebos are a great option if you’re looking for a more weather-proof structure for your property.


According to the Oxford Dictionary, an arbor is, “a shelter of vines or branches or of latticework covered with climbing shrubs or vines” They tend to be smaller than a pergola and are often free-standing, which means that they don’t need to be built against a house or another structure to stay upright. The roof is often curved creating a whimsical look when plants grow over the structure. An arbor is less used for practical purposes and more used for adding height and depth to landscape designs. 

If you’re looking to build a garden structure or have additional questions, feel free to give our professionals a call!

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