GATES FOR THE GARDEN
Gates may of course be included under our heading. Nothing can so make or mar a garden, and in scarcely any other feature is there so wide a choice. As it is the first one seen when visiting a garden it cannot be wrong to consider at the outset the entrance gate. It should combine dignity with welcome, and invite the passer-by to tread farther and explore the many delights which the garden has to offer. It should harmonize with the house and direct the attention towards the main door.
For dignity and tastefulness few gates can surpass a wrought-iron one, either copied from some old Italian or Spanish masterpiece—if it is not possible to have a genuine example from one of these countries—or of some pleasing, simple design which has character and, what is very important, a motif.
Another type of gate which is becoming increasingly popular is the lych-gate. Less deep than those one usually associates with churches, their roof is seldom more than two to three feet wide, and is as a rule supported by the two gate-posts, which are continued higher for this purpose. Here again the best effect results from using the same material for its roofing as is used upon the house. In a lych-gate scheme one finds that the entrance is most attractive when the gate itself is not more than three feet high.
Have you ever seen a Chinese moon-gate? There are few gates more attractive. The idea is of course the circular moon-shaped opening, —we must therefore think of the moon when at the full—and very often there is no actual gate at all. For this reason a moon gate is most suitable as a connecting link between different parts of the garden, while the most suitable medium for its construction is usually brick or stone.
Wooden gates can be made very attractive, and there are many forms from close-boarded to rustic ones, all of which can be made beautiful. If oak or teak is used, never cresote it, or give it any other treatment, but leave it to develop that beautiful mellow appearance that speaks of age and solidity. Both of these woods take on the most delightful hues when exposed to the effects of Mother Nature, and neither needs protecting from the weather.
Gates could, in fact, be used much more in gardens than they are.
To view a sparkling fountain through a beautiful wrought-iron gate set in a dark yew hedge is a very charming experience, and when one has aenclosed by a hedge a more friendly and intimate appearance is given it by placing a gate at the entrance.
The dimensions of a gate are very important. Two feet six inches is the minimum width, and, unless the gate be square, the height should be either considerably greater or considerably less than the width. A gate which is almost square, but not quite so, is never pleasing; so of course is one whose size is disproportionate with the size of the garden. If the opening is to be more than 3 ft. wide double gates are usually more suitable, especially if they are of iron.
The posts should be firmly fixed in the ground to a depth of at least two feet. It is difficult to prescribe definite rules as so much depends upon the weight and width of the gate and the nature of the. Very heavy gates should be hung upon posts set in concrete.
Although primarily designed to provide a dry walk in a garden, a pergola offers great possibilities in design, besides affording great facilities for the growing of such beautifulas roses, vines, and clematis.
The first thing to remember when a pergola is designed is that it must lead to somewhere or something; if there is no existing feature to which it connects, some such object as a figure or a particularly out — standing display of colour must be provided. A pergola which leads to nothing in particular loses half its interest.
There are many materials which can be used for constructing a pergola. Formal and very effective ones can be made with brick or stone piers and timber crosspieces. The piers in this case should be not less than fifteen inches square and seven feet high, and the distance between them from seven to eight feet each way. If from the end view a pergola is not square the width should, for the best effect, be greater than the height. When the piers are of stone or brick small rock plants can be grown in them by leaving out a brick or stone here and there; this will help clothe the pergola and considerably enhance its appearance. The rails connecting these piers should be about nine inches by four, and placed on, and the cross-pieces four inches by six inches, and similarly placed. These latter are best placed about two feet apart.
A pergola constructed solely of timber—and for this purpose oak 01 teak are best—can be very effective indeed. Nine-inch square posts are for this type sufficient, and the dimensions of the other parts may be the same as those given above.
The merest amateur can construct his own little pergola of larch or pine poles with a minimum of expense, and the result may be, and often is, quite beautiful. When this rough wood is used it is best to peel it. So that insects are not harboured.
When theon a pergola are well established the walk becomes very shady, and this, with their continual drip in rainy weather, prohibits die successful cultivation of grass beneath the pergola and renders the. Walk very damp so that the whole object of the pergola is lost. It isi therefore wise to make the path of paving or stone. However, to avoid’ the appearance of too much stone it is usually satisfactory to have a ‘our-feet-wide paved path down the centre, with grass on either side, or to place stepping-stones down the centre.
It is very possible to form a natural living pergola of beech, lime, or hornbeam if time is not the chief factor. The trees require careful training—for which a light wooden and wire framework is necessary —and probably from twelve to fifteen years will elapse before the object is achieved. By this time, however, the result will be so charming, and the walk so cool and fresh, that one will feel that the years of waiting were well worthwhile.