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Friday, April 11, 2008

The Garden Gate

What kind of entrance way do you have to your garden?

In last night's adult education class we talked about garden accessories. Little things like bird houses and gazing balls and big things like garden gates and arbors.

One thing I try to stress is the first impression to your garden is an important one. You can have the most glorious garden but if the entrance is blah, then you are battling mightily to change a visitors perception.

In the opening shot here is a grand entrance way at Old Westbury Gardens. When I first started doing this program I'd tell people that this is obviously the entrance to a house but I have to change that thinking. In my neighborhood there has been a slow but steady increase of homes installing these types of grand entrances complete with wrought iron gates.

A simple entranceway I saw on a walk-about in Cape May, New Jersey. I thought this was quite elegant and immediately had you thinking that the garden beyond this gate would also be quite lovely.

If I had time to walk along the streets in our village of Huntington I could shoot hundreds of photos of charming elements. One of the past members of my garden club had this rustic entrance to her garden.

Another garden at Old Westbury, this one is hidden in the back and is a tiny vegetable garden. I love the arbor covered with runner beans and the one-of-a-kind gate.

Up in Boston I visited a botanical garden that didn't have a gate to get into their vegetable plot but these cool blue posts were welcoming enough.

Still in Massachusetts, we walked through this arbor to get into the garden. The home owner even had a mail box with maps of the garden plant material.

Heading down south to the Carolina's, we come across a cool screen door in the middle of a Hosta walk. It was fully functioning, what a fun accent piece!

Finally, close to home, only a block away, I saw this lovely lattice entrance to the garden. At the same time I could hear some barking and when I looked closely I saw the source of the noise.

How's this for an unusual door bell? Ding dong!!!

One thing I haven't included here is photos of gates in my own gardens. They will be coming at some time. In the mean time, I'm having serious deja-vu feelings that I've done this exact posting in the past. I don't know if it's true or if it's because I've done this slide program so often. If this is a re-run, please forgive me and tune in again tomorrow for something new.

Right now I've got a car chock full of plants to plant. Last night's class was such fun because not only did we do the slide program, we were able to look at lots and lots of plants. Thanks to some wonderful help up at the school I was able to transport a number of pots and clumps of perennials to the classroom. I do admit I felt a bit funny potting up some of those weeds. What a waste of potting soil :-)

Off to dig, even in the rain...



garden girl said...

I love the rustic-looking wood ones. They look so friendly!

GardenJoy4Me said...

melanie .. this is a wonderful post .. garden gates intrigue me. I don't have space for a interesting garden gate .. one side of the house is driveway where hubby's boat goes after winter storage .. and the other is an "alley way" beside my neighbor's home .. but .. I have bought this metal arbor with two swing gates .. fingers crossed we can fit it there and then vines and plants will be a features that makes it look simple yet elegant ? hopefully ??? !
PS .. doggie door bell was cute !

Nancy J. Bond said...

All beautiful and welcoming entrances. I like the rustic wood and arbors ones best, I think.

Cinj said...

I've never really been very good at getting a gateway to my garden set up. I'm not sure what my problem is. I'd probably do better if my spaces weren't so wide open. Cheesehead doesn't do "rustic". I guess I'm more of an accent piece in the garden type of person myself.

Lovely pics though. I enjoy gates and gardeners using their creativity to invite people into their garden.

Gail said...

Good morning, Melanie, When you live in the suburbs and garden in the front yard with a runway driveway as an entrance point this topic is worth a visit or two!

These are fabulous garden entrances; we are seeing more houses adding stone entrances, no gates unless the houses are McMansioned.

The screen door is a keeper idea, it really does have a southern garden feel to it.


Phillip said...

Great post - I love garden gates. They just beckon you, wanting you to find what's on the other side.

María José said...

Hy Melanie!!!
I have just arrived home today after some busy days and I have to tell you that this post is beautiful!! All pictures are fantastic but I prefer the rustic ones !!!
Lots of regards!!

chey said...

Interesting post Melanie! I love how gates draw you into the garden. They also give an additional backdrop for more plantings:).

I like to see the different types of gates that others have in their gardens. Some can be so unique!

Lin said...

Beautiful gates! No doubt about it, entrances do set the tone for what's to come. Gates, usually made of wrought iron, across the driveway are fairly common in my area and I wouldn't mind having one. I do have a tall, rustic wooden gate, to my back yard, with an arched top complete with watering-can gate knocker. Works for my house's style.

jodi said...

These are all just great--like Garden Girl and others, I prefer the rustic look ones, but when I win that lottery, I want wrought iron, please. ;-) Wonderful post, Melanie.

Anna said...

I love garden gates. I want one on each side. I like them all. I had not seen the slideshow before so loved it. The little puppy sticking his head through was priceless.

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EJ said...

Gazing balls in the garden are fabulous! I've seen gazing balls used as a centerpiece for garden spinner. I think they're positively dazzling!