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 school of thought is to sink them in concrete. The logs that make up the frame should be half-lapped for strength and rigidity and hung on gate hinges attached to the posts.

Ready-made latches, plain or fancy, can be purchased at hardware or specialty stores, but most such fences I’ve seen use the old-fashioned, simple loop of rope or wire to keep them closed.

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