What is a Gazebo and Why do You Need One?

If your garden lacks a nice shaded spot, a little bit of weatherproof cover, or just somewhere atmospheric to sit, then we think a Gazebo or Garden Shade could be perfect for you.

Providing portable shade and shelter wherever and whenever you need it most, Gazebos have fantastic versatility and amazing usability. Whether it’s just for select occasions or year-round use, having one of these can change the way you think about and use your garden.

We’ll be talking about all things Gazebos and Garden Shades: from their great benefits to some amazing gazebo ideas, and finally taking a look at which kind of Shade you’ll want to buy! 

Start making your garden ideas and dreams realities and scroll down to discover why we’re making so much fuss about Gazebos.

Green Fabric Gazebo in a Grassy Garden
BillyOh Pop up Gazebo

What is a Gazebo?

You’ve heard us talking about them already, but to kick things off let’s answer that one important question: what is a Gazebo?

Simply put, a Gazebo is a large, emplaced shelter that provides protection from the elements and from the sun. Most gazebos are portable and can be packed down into easily transportable packages. However, some models are permanent. 

Gazebos are traditionally square-shaped and have a pointed roof to provide easy water drainage, although there are other shapes available for the more adventurous amongst us! 

They can be made out of a variety of materials: including classic fabric, waterproof sheeting, and even solid wood gazebos! Most Gazebos have four long legs to support the roof section. However, some specific designs have walls for all-around protection. While they’re primarily used in gardens, if they’re portable there’s no limit to where you put yours up!

All Gazebos are usually big enough to fit at least four or more people underneath. Importantly, this is where they differ from Garden Shades. Shades are just as good structurally and when it comes to use, but they can usually only fit one or two people in.

BillyOh Garden Parasol Cantilever on a patio garden
BillyOh Garden Parasol

Garden Shades don’t have the same consistency that Gazebos do, either. They can be anything that provides shade in an outdoor space – from a Cantilever Parasol to a Shade Sail! Here at Garden Buildings Direct we’re big fans of Gazebos but, don’t worry, we won’t be ignoring Garden Shades either!

Let’s really kick things off by taking a look at the useful benefits of both models.

The Benefits and Uses of a Garden Shelter

The best and most important function of both Gazebos and Shades is that they have the ability to let you create new spaces and shelters wherever you want in your garden.

Having shelter over our heads is an important part of being comfortable. This isn’t just for those times when dark rain clouds are looming overhead, but for when it’s just a little bit too hot and bright under the glare of the sun. Whatever and however you want to use this cover, you won’t get it easier than with a gazebo or garden shade.

Let’s take a deeper dive into how you might use your shelter!

Outdoor Gazebos Hosting a Garden Party
Image Credit

Perfect for Parties

Barbecues that stretch late into the night, weekend get-togethers, kids’ parties that sprawl out into the garden – a gazebo is ideal for all kinds of entertaining, especially when there are lots of people involved!

A Gazebo can provide great shelter for partygoers and party hosters alike. Include it in your party plan to give people a shaded spot when the sun gets too powerful. Or, if rain is in the forecast, set up the BBQ beneath the Gazebo to make sure the food stays nice and dry!

A useful option for evening parties is to set up your seating underneath the Gazebo. Sitting under that bit of shelter can put your guests right at ease, and the fabric cover can trap the heat to provide a more comfortable environment.

And when the festivities come to a close, you can easily pack the Gazebo away and free up the space in your garden – or wherever you’ve used it! The portability of a Gazebo means you can use it in the park, at a holiday home, or even out camping!

An atmospheric Wooden Gazebo Dining Space
Image Credit

Create an Atmospheric Space

If you’re looking for something more permanent, or want to add a space to recline and relax in your garden, then Gazebos are still your new best friend.

Utilise a permanent Gazebo, made out of wood, for instance, to create a large multipurpose sheltered space in your garden. This kind of space is big enough to be completely versatile in how you want to use it.

Equip the area with a table and chairs to create outdoor seating and dining. Alternatively, add an outdoor sofa and a coffee table to create the ultimate outdoor room! The size of a gazebo provides so much flexibility that you can use the shelter it provides in whichever way suits you best.

If the area of a Gazebo is just a little too big for your taste or garden, then a Garden Shade will do the job just as good. Set up a Cantilever Parasol to get great shade and shelter over a smaller area in your garden. These small shades are ideal for seating or dining for one or two and create a more intimate and atmospheric space.

However much space you have available, and however you want it to feel, there’s a garden shade that’s perfect for how you want to use it!

Great Shelter Ideas

When it comes to putting a Gazebo or Shade to good use, we’ve got lots of experience here at Garden Buildings Direct. In fact, we’ve already talked about some Awesome Ways to Use a Wooden Gazebo and some great Foolproof Garden Shade Ideas before! Click on either to explore loads of ways to set up and customise your garden shelter and space.

But, to give you a taste, we’ve brought together some of our absolute favourite ideas so you can get an idea of how you might use your own shelter. Take a look!

Quadra Timber Gazebo with a Hot Tub
BillyOh Quadra Timber Gazebo with Hot Tub

Hot Tub Cover

Experience a different kind of relaxation with a fantastic hot tub and gazebo combination. Best suited for a permanent Gazebo rather than an impermanent one, set up the Hot Tub on a wide patio so there’s room for the legs to fit. Then place the Gazebo directly over the Tub for a perfect little shelter.

This pairing lets you use the Hot Tub all year round, no matter the weather. Relax in the bubbles and warm water even while there’s a downpour all around you.

The Grill Zone

Create the perfect grilling setup with a helping hand from a Gazebo or Shelter. You can design this either as a permanent or temporary setup, with the BBQ positioned underneath the gazebo for uninterrupted grilling

The wide coverage of the gazebo lets you bring tables out too, meaning you can either make up a dining area or build a complete outdoor kitchen right next to the Grill. There’ll be no need to worry about rushing indoors when you realise you’ve forgotten something – with this set-up, you have everything at the tips of your fingers!

Hammock under a Shelter next to a River
Image Credit

Hammock Shelter

For those of you who enjoy relaxing with a snooze, a hammock and garden shade together can be a potent pair. Set up the hammock first, making sure it is secured solidly between two posts. Then arrange your garden shade to provide shade and protection that spreads exactly where the hammock (and you) will be swinging! 

Relax and sleep without worrying about sunburn or rain showers!

Our Gazebos and Shades


With all this talk about Gazebos, Shades and Spaces, you’re probably starting to wonder where you can find one of these fantastic shelters. Well, the answer is right here – at Garden Buildings Direct!

We have great selections of both Gazebos and Garden Shades available on our website, but we’ve got a few of our favourites to show you right now.

BillyOh Pop up Gazebo in a Large Garden with Trees
BillyOh Pop up Gazebo

BillyOh Pop-Up Gazebo

This is our traditional, classic Gazebo if you want a truly authentic Gazebo. It features a folding design for easy transport and storage and is made from fully durable and weatherproof materials. This model can easily withstand the worst of the weather, providing protective and attractive cover wherever you need it.

BillyOh 2.7m Crank and Tilt Parasol 8 Ribs with LED Lights in a grassy floral garden
BillyOh 2.7m Crank and Tilt Parasol

BillyOh 2.7m Garden Parasol Cantilever

For those of you looking for something a little smaller than a Gazebo, this Cantilever Parasol is sure to tick the box! With a strong steel frame supporting a stand-alone tilting parasol that provides shade and cover where and when you need it, you can set up a little sheltered spot in even the smallest gardens.

BillyOh Quadra Timber Gazebo in a Patio Garden with Garden Furniture
BillyOh Quadra Timber Gazebo

BillyOh Quadra Timber Gazebo

Our premium permanent Gazebo, this wooden structure is simply fantastic at creating a new atmospheric space in your garden. With a versatile and attractive rustic design, and optional railing to create a more confined area, the Quadra is perfect for creating an outdoor room in your garden. 

Get Your Gazebo On!

The simple addition of a Gazebo or Shade can totally change how you use your garden, and how much time you spend out there! If you’re looking to make a new space in your garden, then consider a garden shelter.

Inspired by our great gazebos? Or just looking to browse our range of shades and shelters? Then click the button below!

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