Showing posts from July, 2009

Antique Gates

This antique gate stands at the end of a wisteria-covered pergola and is attached to concrete pillars although, since the pergola itself is constructed of cedar logs, the gates could have been hung from cedar posts, as well. It is a formal exclamation point at the end of a traditional garden structure. It serves the practical purpose of separating this part of the garden from the county road, although it is unlikely that anyone would ever enter the garden this way. But it also serves a specific design purpose. Long, shaded pergolas such as this one provide a sense of enclosure that is similar to a tunnel. The gate is the “light” at the end of it. It serves as a focal point, or resting place, for the eye and implies that the narrow vista is about to open up. The gate could just as easily serve as the entry to an area of open lawn, or a seating area enclosed by hedges. If your heart’s desire is an antique gate, be prepared to pay a hefty price. Most architectural salvage firms host we

Calling Valley Dog

Would Valley Dog (in PA) please re-contact me by clicking on the e-mail button at right, or re-posting your comment? When I went to publish it, it disappeared. Thanks, Lois

Rustic Gate

Here’s a simple rustic gate that acts more as a visual boundary than an actual barrier. Its purpose is to stop the eye and separate the pleasure garden from the driveway and the working part of the farm beyond. In this case, it provides access for the lawn tractor, wagons, and other impedimentia of garden maintenance, but works equally well for any transition area in a naturalistic setting. The thick hedge surrounding the gate, the overhanging wisteria vine, and the pointy tops that rise above the frame provide a deterrent for deer, but fawns could certainly ease their way through the diamond-shaped openings. A simple fix would be to tack some deer fencing onto the logs. In a farm-like setting such as this, chicken wire or livestock fencing would also look appropriate, the latter adding some additional reinforcement to the log structure. Stout support posts (hidden by the hedges) should be sunk well into the ground and backfilled with gravel to encourage good drainage. Another scho

Too Much of a Good Thing?

After 29 days and 29 nights of rain in June, it’s great to see some sunshine and be able to get back out into the garden to work. Watch out though, the poison ivy looks like elephant ears! There are other perils, as well. Last weekend, I put an ungloved hand under some perennials to yank weeds out nearer to the root and got a handful of slime. Never did figure out what that was. Most of the garden is doing OK despite the cool temperatures and constant wetness, but I fear for my Irises. I have some particularly lovely light blues of unknown parentage. Initially all of the moisture caused them to throw up enormous fans and large blooms. But as time went on with no relief from the dark and the rain, the fans started to rot. Here’s hoping that the rhizomes are not completely lost, as well. The tomatoes are marking time and have not bloomed. Fortunately I started all of mine from seed that I gathered last year and, thus, have escaped the dreaded late blight. But now, I’m becoming concern