Holiday Decorating for Your Landscape Structures

Holiday Decor

The holiday season has arrived, and as you “deck the halls” (and porches, roofs, trees, and bushes outdoors), we’re here to remind you that another decorating opportunity exists on your property that you may have overlooked – your landscape structures!

Gazebos, pergolas, pavilions, and even sheds benefit from festive makeovers and add an extra dimension of holiday “wow” to the exterior of your home. So grab another strand of lights and a wreath or two, and get to work!

Not sure where to start? That’s fine, too! Whether your decorating scheme tends toward the elegant and minimalist or the crazy and over-the-top, we’re sharing some of our favorite tips to inspire you to create a true winter wonderland in your backyard this season by incorporating your outdoor structures!

Garlands, Swags, and Wreaths

Whether fresh or artificial, evergreen boughs are endlessly festive as garlands strung along gazebo railings and wrapped around posts. Pine and cedar branches work best if you’re going for the natural look, and you can either purchase these at places like Christmas tree farms or just prune from trees on your own property.

Add wreaths and swags on shed windows and doors, or at the corners where the individual sides of pavilions, pergolas, and open gazebos meet to liven up typically utilitarian architectural features. This effect is particularly eye-catching on octagon and oval gazebos!

And be sure you don’t forget the bows!

Store-bought, pre-made bows in red shades or holiday plaids look great, but crafting your own bows is often more satisfying. YouTube and Pinterest are full of great tutorials to help you create gorgeous, sturdy bows for outdoor decorating.


It’s true that we have more options now than ever before for holiday lighting. From white and rainbow-colored twinkle light strands in a dizzying array of bulb counts and shapes (novelty, mini, C3, C5, C9?!) to “icicle lights” and super-sized “focal point” lighted ornaments, it can be difficult to choose what might look best outside your home (and on your landscape structures). Consult a holiday lighting buyer’s guide to help point you in the right direction, or just visit your local big box retailer and check out the seasonal lighting displays to get ideas.

If you tend to go for the “less is more” look, white LED mini or dome-shaped lights provide a crisp, yet dazzling appearance when strung along rooflines on any structure. Pairing strands of these elegant twinkle lights with electric candles in shed windows or your garlands, wreaths, and swags on a gazebo can create a merry and bright appearance that complements traditional decorating schemes.

Of course, if you tend to go all out with thousands of colorful lights, inflatables, and even projections outside your home, your landscape structure is a blank canvas to let your holiday cheer run wild! Why not add a full-size light-up Santa and his sleigh to the roof of your pavilion? Or suspend lighted stars of various sizes from your pergola’s rafters?

Christmas Trees

Tree In Gazebo

While we typically think of Christmas trees as indoor holiday décor, adding one (or many!) inside your gazebo or under the roof of your pavilion brings the cozy feelings they inspire beyond the walls of your home. Invite friends and neighbors to share a “cup of holiday cheer” (hot chocolate, wassail, eggnog, or whatever your favorite holiday beverage might be) around your gazebo tree on a chilly December night to really get into the spirit of the season!

Other Unique Accents and Ideas

While a fresh blanket of snow makes for a picturesque and Christmas-y natural accent on your landscape structures, we realize that some of our customers here in the Sacramento area rarely experience the frozen white stuff. If you enjoy pulling out all the stops in your decorating, you might introduce faux snow to your gazebo, pergola, or pavilion — but there are other, less messy ways to get creative, too!

Incorporate Fresh Poinsettias

Use these beautiful holiday flowers on tabletops or group with other plants along pathways and around doors to add festive flair during your holiday parties. While poinsettias are not necessarily hardy in all of our customers’ backyards, (they cannot tolerate frost or temps below 32 degrees Fahrenheit), moving these flowers inside the house or into the greenhouse if it gets too cold outdoors can prolong their lives through the holiday season and beyond.

Totally Transform Your Structure

These ideas are not for the average holiday decorator, but if you enjoy covering every inch of your property in lights and creating elaborate scenes on your lawn, you may enjoy dressing your landscape structures up as totally different items.

For instance, you can buy tons of dollar store wrapping paper and turn your pavilion into a giant present! Or, try transforming your gazebo into a life-sized, light-up gingerbread house! The square and rectangular overall shapes of many landscape structures lend to this type of outrageous accessorizing.

Don’t have a landscape structure to decorate? Give us a call today here at Backyard Unlimited! There are so many great reasons to own gazebos and other property-enhancing structures all year long. And pergolas, pavilions, sheds, and more make fantastic gifts for the entire family to enjoy!