Pergola vs gazebo — what's the difference and which one is right for your garden?

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Pergola vs gazebo? How to choose the right structure for your garden (Image credit: Forest Garden)

When it comes to the main difference between a pergola vs gazebo in garden design,  the answer is relatively simple – a gazebo will generally have a fixed roof, whereas a pergola does not.

However, with more modern pergolas now often incorporating an element of semi-permanent or even permanent shading in the roof design, it can be harder to identify which structure is which and what might suit best your needs.

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Reilly Gray

Reilly Gray is co-founder of British, independent, family-run outdoor living specialists, Suns Lifestyle. Specialists in high-quality, luxury outdoor structures and furniture, all of which have been designed for a true life outdoors, all-year-round.

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Jenny Davis

Jenny Davis is the head of marketing at Forest Garden, a manufacturer of wooden garden products. Residing in Worcestershire, UK, Jenny is a mother of two boys and an avid gardener who enjoys growing fruit and vegetables. She also actively participates in testing Forest Garden’s products.

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Emily Crowley-Rowe

Emily Crowley-Wroe is an RHS multi award-winning garden designer who works closely with clients to create plant rich garden design schemes and creative solutions that add value to their homes, lifestyle and the environment.

Sarah Harley
Assistant Editor

Sarah is Homebuilding & Renovating’s Assistant Editor and joined the team in 2024. An established homes and interiors writer, Sarah has renovated and extended a number of properties, including a listing building and renovation project that featured on Grand Designs. Although she said she would never buy a listed property again, she has recently purchased a Grade II listed apartment. As it had already been professionally renovated, she has instead set her sights on tackling some changes to improve the building’s energy efficiency, as well as adding some personal touches to the interior.