For many, gardens are viewed as another room of their home; an oasis of relaxation to escape to at the end of a busy day, a space to socialise with friends, and somewhere for children to play. While the UK climate may be somewhat unpredictable, we do enjoy enough warmth and sunshine throughout the year to encourage most to take full advantage of their outdoor space by adding features and structures that enhance their garden experience. Many gardens across the UK are home to gazebos; these are pavilion structures which provide shelter, shade and a place to relax and dine. Other popular garden structures include pagodas, garden arbours and arches. The vast majority of garden structures are made of wood and are completely exposed to the elements. Year round your gazebo, arbour, trellis, arch or pagoda is exposed to sun, wind, rain and snow and you will need to take measures to protect your wooden structure if you want it to last. How to protect your wooden structure: 1. While it's a good idea to keep your wooden garden structure free of dirt and debris by removing any leaves, moss or plants growing on it, avoid using excess water while doing so. This is because you can extend the life of your structure by taking care not to over-expose it to water. 2. If you have a roofed gazebo or arbour, check the roof on a regular basis; remove branches or leaves that have fallen or blown onto the roof to discourage roof leaks that will compromise the structure over time. 3. Make good use of readily available sprays, surface paints and stains which are specially produced to protect outdoor wood from water and other damaging weather elements. 4. Not all wood is equal, so the best way you can care for your garden's structures is to ensure you buy a quality item in the first place. Low quality timber will always degrade faster than higher quality wood, no matter how well you care for it. 5. Drainage is also key. Avoid having your gazebo, arbour, trellis or pagoda sitting in puddles of water or poorly drained soil. Standing water is very much your enemy.