When were looking to buy our house, there was no back deck, just this gazebo which was newer and charmingly out fitted with floral wicker set at the time. Now, several years later, it's used to store deck furniture in the rainy weather and winter. It's in the shade almost all day, just receiving sun after dinner. Last year I tried sprucing it up with hanging baskets of flowers, but the huge squirrels around here climbed up and dug them out, bending the brackets (which I've removed).

I can't paint the pressure treated wood, and the screens are on the entire outside anyway.

So... I'm looking for ideas. Can anyone help? The planning will be done this year, and the work next year, as reseeding our entire front lawn and new tires on the RV have shot this year's budget.

On the sides of the doors are small gardens w/hostas and creeping flox (which is lovely purple in spring, but green now). There's a large garden to the right that contains a water feature. Then there's a small garden to the left, with a stone birdbath. The path you see leads from a stone patio which has the BBQ and kid's playslide thingy.

We have to use it for storing (BBQ too), so it's the outside appearance I'm looking to revive.HELP!

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yes! lol...been here a couple of times. waiting to see who offers what. i have no ideas. i don't like pressire treat for the reasons you have. you can't make it pretty. but i will tell ya one thing...i would not be using it for storage! i would have me a sweet SWEET little hidey hole out there. sit and listen to birds, snuggle a furball or two, do my reading w my tea or needlework. ...screened in too? oh yeah! mosquito, black fly - no problemo!

Well, l've tried sitting in it,with Timone, who loved it w/ he was alive...but l found it clausterphobic. The woods behind, the ( now) propane tanks, and a view of workshop, RV building  one way and heat pump at back of house:((. The only place on the entire property with a not nice view. It's a bit dark ,too, for needlework ( 20 acres of maple behind it), or l'd have tried vines.

The only outside spruceup l've thought of so far ,is a nice pair of large urns/flowers like impatience, ( as squirrels favour begonia and sweet potatoe vines).

Off side question, what color is the house?  Is there a way to enjoy a bit of the outside as well?  I am thinking it would be nice to have a couple of those concrete benches to add to the outerside of it to give it more of a live in me look.  Like in the movie PolyAnna with the benches around the tree.  Then if you could give it some color with flowers that bloom in the shade between the benches with color.  I love ordering from Springhill and Brecks, they are guaranteed and I have never had any issues with them.  This way you won't have to keep investing in your pots.  Also, if you could do somethink along the patch a bit more to make the gazebo more inviting.  Since it is darker, is there a way to add a little skylight in the ceiling to bring in the sun but still allow for protection from elements?  Only off the top of my head.

Mixed FoxgloveSweet Tea HeucherellaReblooming Dwarf Bleeding Heart BlendFluffy Ruffles Double Helleborus MixThe bleeding hearts are a reblooming.  This will give it more color.  The fox gloves get taller and will help hide that propane tank issue and then building a wall of florals will give you more to look at and brighten that wonderful maple background and the other surrounding drudgery.

Thanks Beth, bench might be nice,and l love foxgloves...biannuals around here. Bleeding heart is done before we get home. Unless there's a newer variety that l haven't found yet. What's that flower on thefar right? Doesn't look like a shade plant l've ever seen.

lnstead of interior light( skylight not needed for a storage area), maybe exterior lights may look good ( evening).

l was toying with the idea of perhaps painting the screens themselves with pictures of flowers/leaves etc. Of course l'd have to shield the actual wood...the screens are old, and will need replacing in a yr. or so, so if it looks "dumb", l could just omit that idea next time. ( l can just imagine what my DH will think of this, so it'll be one of those things to just "do",then ask forgiveness later, llol). l'm not sure l have the nerve to try it, but l COULD practice on an old window screen.

riana, the one on the right looks like a lenten rose. love them, theya are beautiful. i lost my shade when the tree was torn up in a wind storm. lenten rose was one of the things i wanted to plant there.

i like the idea of the benches. that would be very attractive. can you see this from the deck or is it part of the view from a sitting area you enjoy? just wondering. if you aren't going to use it as a sitting area safe from the black flys amd mosquitos.

The gazebo is visible from everywhere from back/ side of house. lt's in the back /center of our backyard, which,unlike the one in front, is wide & shallow, due to sugar bush( 20 acres maples).That's why l want to spruce it up. The blackflies/mosquitoes are usually gone by the time we're back from Texas ( except this yr.) , and after golfing all afternoon, or gardening( l sew most mornings), l'm inside preparing dinner, then sitting w/dh & furries doing some knitting , x st. or surfing net while listening to his tv programs.When l sit down outdoors, it's on the deck. l'd have loved a porch, but l've got the deck. Dave built it specially for me. lf we don't use the gazebo to store the cushions at night or off season, l'd have to store them way down in the basement, very inconvenient for daily retrieval. The dew here is heavy, so if they stay out, you can't sit on them for hours.

lf the ones on right are lenten roses, as Rogue suggests, do you think they'd tollerate shade? bush or vine?never heard of them before...we're in betwixt zone 4 &5 here, as realatively close to lake. l wonder how hardy they are...guess l'll look them up.l have the plant second from left, pretty coral bells in July, and pretty foliage all yr.lt survives, but doesn't thrive here.

they are low growing perinneal. supposed to do well where i am, should be tolerant of your winters too? shade or filtered shade. i haven't looked them up in long time but they were/are on my list of wants for various places. the blossoms are beautiful, lovely shades of colors and come back year after year once you have them established.

Found them on wikipedia,and then l recognized them ,around here we call them hellebores, the hybrids have more colours & larger flowers early spring bloom). They do well as ground cover in shade, and hate being moved. Lots of leaf mulch keeps them happy.Trouble is, they bloom before we're home:(

oh you technist! lol hellebores, that is their name aka "lenten rose" :))

off to eat bbq steak as soon as soon as he finishes his masterpiece salad! lollol

This sounds wonderful!  Want to come design mine???

Let's just see how this turns out first, Debbee...the vfront yard comes first, but we did get the old patio stones pulled up, and grass seed is down. The paving bricks from the old front walk are stacked & ready...a kidney shaped patio is in the plans , w/room for bbq and outdoor dining in the shade of the trees. When we ripped up tge old plain patio stones, we found they were just laying on dirt...no wonder l was constantly weeding grass out from between tgem! They pretty much all broke on lifting...so they'll be added to the drainage job.


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