Creating a Garden Getaway

No backyard retreat is complete until there's a spot to sit and enjoy it all.
Glenn R. DiNella
Creating a Garden Getaway
The gazebo is the crowning touch of this backyard makeover, which also includes a goldfish pond and brick steps leading up to the house.
Celia Deaton

Located halfway down their sloping backyard, Trish and Pat Poe's new gazebo is the perfect distance away from the home to provide a quiet escape. The structure is just the right size to accommodate a table and four chairs for a casual outdoor dinner. The sounds of the splashing fountain nearby complete the effect of a backyard oasis.

The gazebo has extra creature comforts that allow the couple to get more use out of it; this is especially important with Nashville's long outdoor season. A ceiling fan cools it off during sizzling summer afternoons, and lighting helps extend the hours of use into the cool evenings. To tie the house and garden together, Trish and Pat designed the railing around the gazebo to match a new balcony on the home. The finishing touch was provided by their son, Mason, who painted four triangular canvases and mounted them on the gazebo's ceiling. Playing off the water theme, Mason painted a crane-and-fish motif. The artwork dresses up the structure and also prevents birds from roosting in the rafters.

Trish and Pat can now steal away for a quiet outdoor dinner for two or bring in the extended family for other events. "It seems like now, whenever our relatives want to have a wedding or party, we are voted to be the hosts," Trish says, "because we have the best yard for entertaining--and living!"