Outlying Structures: How They Fit Into Your Landscape Design

If you have bought a house recently that has some outlying structures on the property, you may be wondering how to incorporate these structures into your landscape design. Depending on their function or purpose, some structures fit into landscaping quite well. Here are some examples of common yard structures and how you can make them all look like they fit perfectly into the surrounding scenery.


If the gazebo on your property is in good shape, you can plant several climbing rose bushes around the base and provide trellises for these flowers to climb. When the roses have climbed as far as they will go and have fully bloomed, your gazebo becomes a lovely little romantic spot for you to pass the time alone or with someone special. If roses are not your thing, you can try many different bulb seed flowers, such as:

  • Tulips
  • Daffodils
  • Irises 
  • Hyacinths

These flowers make beautiful accents around the base without overwhelming other flowers with their height. Many of these bulb seed flowers grow from one to three feet or more, depending on the variety, and can overshadow many other smaller plants and flowering shrubs. They need something taller behind them to balance out the perception of height.

Storage Sheds or Garden Sheds

Admittedly, these sheds are quite functional and keep all of your yard tools safe and in one place, but they are rarely very attractive. If one of your outlying buildings or structures is a garden shed or storage shed, make sure it is on a cement base before you do anything else. This keeps the shed from sinking in any one direction when you decide to plant flowers or vegetables around it. The cement base will also keep it from becoming disheveled, infested with animal and rodent pests and generally useless. If it has windows on the front, sides or back, you might be able to add flower boxes under the windows to make it more attractive.


If you are fortunate to have purchased a property with a large water fountain already installed, you can make a lot of the landscape surrounding it look stunning. First, you will need to clean the fountain entirely and then make sure the water line to the fountain is fully functional. (Many homeowners all too frequently turn the fountains off or just let them go, and the fountains become quite a mess.) Once your fountain is up and running, you can plant flowers all around the base, or extend two to four islands of flowers out from the base, creating a sort of floral compass. You could grow water lilies and other flowering water plants too, if you so preferred.