The best garden gates are welcoming. They let us know where to enter, provide a spot to pause and catch our breath, and create an opportunity to inject interest and personality.
Most importantly, gates invite us into a garden. And clear invitations are one of the key design elements that I found across the many diverse garden styles that I have visited.
Garden gates say, “hey, come in here.” They can frame a view or allow us to glimpse just a part of the garden. I think when best placed, they create mystery that pulls us into the garden.
They also mark the distinction between the outside and inside worlds, reinforcing a sense of shelter. And they signal that something special, worth gating, is inside.
Whether rustic wood, painted pickets, or polished iron, gates reinforce the architecture, style, and age of the garden. Posts, finials, and pergolas provide additional options to customize. And containers cluster naturally beside garden gates. All of this supports interesting plantings like climbers, flowers, and hedges.
Finding a place for a garden gate or making the most of an existing gate make for a great garden project. I hope that these examples will inspire you.