Giving Your Garden Structure

Now all your garden infrastructure has been completed, it’s time to start building your above ground garden structures. They may be foundational items such as retaining walls, fences, pathways and paved areas or they could be aesthetic such as water fountains, ponds, arbors and gazebos.

Regardless, these structures will start to add another dimension to your garden and will make the biggest statement as to how your garden is defined. In most cases, you can always transplant a garden bed or dig up a lawn but to remove a structure can be a enormous exercise so you might want to make sure that it really is what you wanted.

Without a garden design, prior to commencing work on your property, the temptation is to include structures ad hoc, as you feel inspired. This can sometimes work but it is usually the exception to the rule. In most cases you can spot a garden where this has happened as the garden structures become a menagerie of inspired moments but none of them match and some may even appear awkward and out of place.

Therefore, adding garden structures is another step in the garden design process. There are questions that you may need to ask yourself in order to plan these out better.

  1. Okay. Here’s the first question. What is the purpose behind having a particular structure in your garden? For example, let’s assume you are planning to add a water feature after noticing that every second garden in your neighbourhood now has one. Does it fit within your garden style? Are you just wanting it because everyone else has one and it seems like you need to keep up with the trend? This is a common reason for many gardeners to add certain structures into their gardens. Desist people! Find structures that balance your garden not your notion of what a TV garden should look like.
  2. Can your garden do without it? This is a question that needs to be answered on two levels. Firstly, the structure may be required for practical purposes, eg. a gazebo may allow you to entertain more outdoors. However, the gazebo may have no practical benefit as you already have an outdoor entertaining area under your pergola yet it serves an aesthetic purpose of adding to the style you’ve planned.
  3. How will this structure be built? If you have some practical skills you may like to tackle it yourself but if it involves complex procedures with which you are not au fait with then hiring a contractor may be the best option.
  4. Finally this is the biggy! Should I buy it from Kmart? The answer is definitely no unless you want to add yourself to the list of other tacky gardeners who buy garden structures from Kmart. The idea of garden design is to be creative and original. Why would you spend hours creating a garden design to have a structure that Bob down the road could also emulate? It shouldn’t cost you any more to build your own structure, if you’re resourceful. Therefore, leave the Kmart garden structures to those that don’t care about gardening. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Additionally, we participates in various other affiliate programs, and we sometimes get a commission through purchases made through our links.