According to Alistair Rowan from his book, garden buildings in history have assumed many guises. Styles include Renaissance, Baroque, Palladian, Chinese, Gothic, Indian, American, etc. The art of designing such a building is more closely related to fantasy rather than reality. These buildings were erected for the purpose of pleasure and were meant to be attractive. Since these buildings were often modest in size and comparatively inexpensive, the design could often produce much novelty. Architects were free to explore new ideas and on a small scale. Garden buildings of this type were popular in England during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries and were placed in large parks and private estates. During some periods however, the designs were of small scale and were related to the house. Some viewed and others were used to view from. Progress into the 19th century found more of these garden buildings erected with usefulness becoming more important. These then became cottages and conservatories, which led to the development of a new language of garden buildings, and marked the rise of the new middle class owner as well as the art of ferro-glass construction. Little building in garden architecture (other than greenhouses) continued in the hands of private individuals beyond the Victorian era, after which that body of work was more frequently undertaken by committees as parks became public.
The garden house in Western culture is seen as a place of refuge within the garden, remote and unconnected to the dwelling, and probably has its origin in the early English bower, a seat shaded by trees. Teahouses and garden pavilions have a long history in China, but this was not an influence until the 18th century on Western architectural thought.
I shall refer to these garden buildings by the term Gazebo which is a noun meaning a structure designed to command a view. The term Belvedere is sometimes used also to refer to a summerhouse.