Outdoor Living – Garden Structures Improve the Way You Live

Outdoor living garden structures improve the way you live by incorporating a nursery near me for the best gardening experience in Southern California.

Written by David S.

 From small yards to rolling landscapes, garden structures help improve the way we live outdoors. In this blog, we focus on creating spaces that improve the quality of our outdoor life. We discuss:

  • Gazebos
  • Pergola 
  • Arches 
  • Patio features 
  • And a few other things you might need to know. 

Creating Spaces 

One fundamental tool to creating spaces is to sit down and consider the things you love about the outdoors. Draw from vacations to resorts, photographs from magazines, experiences you’ve had, and from all of those events, take the best memories. The goal is to create a space that elevates your happiness. When you create a comfortable spot, you will enjoy it more, which increases the ROI on the investment of money and energy into that spot. That process includes:

  • Choosing the right size — small and cozy, big enough for four people, or large enough for family and friends. 
  • Defining usage — what’s going to happen there — a cup of coffee and a book, tea or coffee with close friends, outdoor dining, parties, formal dinners, holiday get-togethers, etc. 
  • Comfortable features — furniture, benches, heating, and cooling, 
  • Color and textures — add to the enjoyment via flowers, decor, fabric, and more. 
  • Lighting — is easier to control with options for shade, sun, dappled shade, afternoon shade, morning sun, etc. 

We touch a little on most of these as we discuss garden structures.

Size and Shape 

Gazebos come in many sizes, and most are round. You can find gazebo kits in standard sizes at Green Thumb Nursery. For larger sizes, you may need to have the structure custom-built. Gazebos offer shelter from the sun and openness. A good tip is to go big with a gazebo. If you are looking for shelter from the sun, you will want a gazebo 3-4 feet larger than the sitting area. The extra space allows for shade as the sun moves through the sky. The most shade is at noon, but in the morning and afternoon, the sun’s angle causes sunlight to encroach upon the interior space of the gazebo. 

Pergolas are generally square or rectangle, and they too are available as kits. Unlike gazebos, pergolas are easy to customize. They also do not need to have a top. It is easy to use a pergola to create or define a space. 

Pergola and trellis overlap somewhat. For example, you can build a pergola to be one wall of the outdoor living space. Along that wall grow a thick climbing vine, such as grapes, wisteria, or jasmine. As the plants fill in, the wall becomes complete. The pergola is the frame that supports the plants, and the plants become the backdrop. For that reason, pergolas are lovely if you need to increase the privacy of a spot in your yard or if you need to block an eyesore. 

A pergola with a roof also adds privacy and shade to an area. With a customized pergola, you can build it taller and, in doing so, create afternoon shade and still maintain an open area. Of course, pergolas in square or rectangle shapes are lovely for outdoor spaces. The trailing vines create shade and privacy while allowing one to enjoy the open-air feel you’d find at a fine restaurant or resort.

Arches are another garden structure. Mostly you see arches as somewhat small structures over a gate or walkway. However, arches can be more extensive, and you can build them in a series to provide beautiful borders to an outdoor living space. Arches are also a helpful tool for defining walkways. 

Defining Usage 

Arches are one of the best tools for defining and welcoming. You see them over a gate and along pathways. Arches work to help direct people where to go without them having to ask. Gazebos are a destination, and they help define the central area of an event, such as an outdoor dining area. Pergolas help you define space and give you the space to create incredible vistas. Any of these three garden structures can elevate an outdoor living space. Each combines effortlessly with other elements, such as stone patios, pools, hot tubs, and personal spaces, such as the spot to enjoy morning coffee, read a book, or chat with friends. 

Comfortable Features 

What garden structures bring to a space is shade and lighting. When properly installed and paired with the right plants, gazebos, pergola, and arches bring shade and different lighting, such as dappled shade. In addition, the plants can help to block wind and, when paired with plants like star jasmine aromatics that enhance the space. 


When it comes to creating a space, garden structures offer many benefits. One of those benefits is lighting. Having control over outdoor light, such as sunshine, and shade is a big deal in an environment where hot is the norm. 

Set up an outdoor work area where you can enjoy your yard while you work from home. A stone patio with a pergola covering and vining plants can make a perfect space for working from home. The shaded area makes computer chores more accessible, and you get to enjoy the beautiful view and your outdoor living areas. 

Set up an outdoor dining area with a gazebo. You can choose the size. Make it big enough for the whole family or a cozy spot for two. Add in heating for winter or a fan for summer, and you have a gorgeous spot to dine all year. 

Set up a nook for reading, texting, catching up on emails, or visiting with friends. A garden arch or two can provide shade. Climbing roses are lovely for creating shade in summer and allowing more light to filter in during winter. Jasmine is another option, as is clematis. 

There are a million options for using garden structures to create fabulous outdoor spaces. With a bit of design, you can combine outdoor living spaces with garden structures to create resort-like features in the comfort of your backyard. 

Please stop by one of our five Southern California locations and browse the stock of gazebo kits, pergola kits, and the many varieties of garden arches. While you are here, be sure to check out the array of climbing plants. Many are easy to grow, and you can plant them in a container or the ground. If you opt for a container, the decorative pots in stock are incredible. Also, our garden experts are available to answer your question, show you products, and help you get your outdoor living project started right. 


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