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Pergolas, Arbors, Gazebos, and Pavilions

Creech Landscape can enhance your North Atlanta landscape with the addition of pergolas, arbors, gazebos and pavilions. These popular outdoor features provide structure, function, and privacy to your garden. They elevate your outdoor space’s beauty, making it feel like a personal retreat.   

Each type of structure performs a different role. They can also work in combination to bring the benefits of each to your outdoor living area.   

Our designers can help you create a custom installation that suits your aesthetic and your lifestyle.  

How Do I Choose Which Garden Structure Is Right for My Landscape?

The terms are often used to mean the same thing, but pergolas, arbors, gazebos and pavilions have distinguishing features. Structure, size, installation and intended use all play a role.  

Understanding their differences can help you decide which is right for you.  


A pergola is an open-air outdoor structure. Usually made of wood, they are sometimes combined with brick or stone at the foundation.   

Supported by columns, pergolas feature a lattice grid of crossbeams and rafters. They are most often freestanding. However, it is possible to attach them to an existing structure.   

Some home and business owners choose to plant flowering vines at the base of their pergolas. These are grown either in the ground or in attached planters. The vines eventually grow to form a natural canopy. They can provide shade, as well as adding color and scent to your landscape.  

String lights are another choice to decorate your pergola. They help create a festive backyard retreat and outdoor dining area. 

Curtains are another popular addition, adding privacy to your pergola. Combined with a sun shade or other weather resistant blocker, they also provide protection from the elements.   

What Is the Purpose of a Pergola?  

Pergolas are both decorative and functional. They serve as an architecturally striking gathering spot that elevates your outdoor living space. When correctly designed and oriented in your landscape, pergolas can provide shade without completely blocking out the sun. This makes them poplar additions on patios and around pools.  


An arbor is an outdoor structure, usually wood or metal. Arbors consists of two walls and a roof.   

The smallest of the four, arbors often function as a doorway into a garden. Arbors can be combined with a gate, attached to a fence or wall, or be freestanding. Adding benches to the sides provides structure and additional seating.  

Frequently, arbor walls are formed from lattice trellis to allow both light and air to pass through. Some people plant flowering vines at the base of the trellis to create a beautiful living accent piece.   

Most arbor roofs consist of wood rafters or metal bars that either support vines or remain open to the sky.    

What Is the Purpose of an Arbor?  

The primary purpose of an arbor is decoration. They can act as outdoor doorways, define garden spaces, and welcome guests. When decorated with flowering vines or roses, they can also serve as a backdrop for photos or special events.  


More enclosed than other garden structures, a gazebo is a roofed outdoor living room. Most often featuring a raised floor, outdoor gazebos function as a backyard centerpiece. They’re similar to the bandstands found in many town squares.   

The sides of a gazebo are partially enclosed by railing, with the remaining space fully open to the air. They can also be screened-in to help with both privacy and insect control.   

Traditionally, gazebo construction follows the shape of an octagon or oval. However, landscape designers can build them in almost any shape to suit individual needs and aesthetics.   

What Is the Purpose of a Gazebo?  

A gazebo is a great choice if you’re looking for a landscape focal point. Their decorative nature makes them perfect for outdoor celebrations like musical recitals or weddings.  

Gazebos are perfect structures for enjoying water features or notable views. They also function as a protected outdoor space for reading or conversation.  


Pavilions tend to be more functional and less architecturally elaborate than gazebos, although they can perform similar roles.   

Featuring a roof and support posts that are flush with the ground, a pavilion is completely open on the sides. Pavilions allow for extended outdoor living even in inclement weather. Less visually intrusive than gazebos, pavilions offer shade and protection from the elements without obstructing the view.   

What Is the Purpose of a Pavilion?  

Pavilions are frequently used to provide shelter to patios, outdoor fire pits and other exterior spaces. When combined with seating or an outdoor kitchen, they create a backyard living room. Pavilions are the perfect outdoor area to entertain family, neighbors and friends.  

Ready to enhance your landscape with a pergola, arbor, gazebo or pavilion?

Whether you’re looking for something simple or elaborate, Creech Landscape can help you design the perfect structure for your site.
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