Gates act as doors into garden rooms. They can have spiritual symbolism and create the opportunity for a theatrical message. Even an implied gate, created by columns flanking an entrance, makes a strong statement. Gates should complement the adjacent fence structure and garden style and acknowledge the architecture of the buildings beyond. There are manufacturers that specialize in entrance drive gates. They can help you incorporate their structures into your landscape design. Gates act as a point of union between two different spaces and communicate the passage between them involves change.
I spent a few years working on a project for my state, where iconic monuments were planned at the interstate borders with other states. The process taught me a lot about gate design. Here are some of the main lessons learned.
• Gates should be expressive of the owner
• Gates should convey a strong presence and permanence
• Gates should be constructed of solid, low-maintenance materials
• Gates are a threshold, and things should change as you pass through
• Gates should integrate with the surrounding landscape
• The scale of gate design is the most important design element consideration
• Any wording on a gate should be perfectly proportioned and expertly crafted
• Gates often need to accommodate sharp changes in grade
• The artwork on public gates must have broad acceptance and not offend
• Gates identify the owner
• Moving gates need extra bracing to keep them in good working form.