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Use a Garden Entrance to Define Outdoor Spaces

Use a Garden Entrance to Define Outdoor Spaces
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Gates, arches, arbors, fences, bridges, stepping stones and paths signal to us that there is something beyond our line of view that is worth exploring. They stand in all their glory silently beckoning visitors to enter and see what surprises await.

Peaceful Garden Path

Peaceful Garden Path

A space with flowers becomes a place for flowers when it is framed by a picket fence or accessed by an arch or arbor covered with climbing vines. A water garden is all the more magical when a winding path or whimsical miniature bridge precedes it. Simple granite posts, stacks of large river stones or even railroad ties can be arranged to suggest an entrance.

Entryways may also lead to a sacred place for the gardener, such as a memory garden to celebrate the life of a loved one. Often times secret gardens begin with a subtle path leading to inspirational or meaningful plantings or a memorial.

Gardens surrounded by antique iron fences and paved with vintage bricks or field stone mimic the courtyards of yesteryear. They are the perfect setting for garden parties in the warm months; outdoor fire pits in fall; and a whole winter’s worth of beauty with fluffy snow-capped gates glistening with ice crystals.

Rustic Path

Rustic Path

Garden entrances can be enjoyed year round as their appearance changes with the seasons. The arches and arbors that have small green leaves and immature berries in the spring may be covered by thick vines or climbing roses in the summer and early fall. Rose hips and thorny branches are all that remains by the time autumn arrives, and in the long cold winter months, birds will entertain you as you watch them perch and dine on any leftover fruits from the vine or feed from strategically placed birdfeeders close by.

If you don’t already have a garden entrance or focal point, this winter is a great time to begin exploring options and ideas for the perfect way to express your individual style for your own unique surroundings and to begin preparing for spring installation.

Shelley Wigglesworth


Shelley Wigglesworth


Shelley Fleming-Wigglesworth is a certified Maine Master Gardener and award winning newspaper columnist from Kennebunk, Maine. She has been writing for the York County Coast Star for more than a decade as a freelance columnist and features writer. In 2010 she began writing her own gardening column “The Master Gardener’s Notebook” for Tourist News. She also teaches gardening classes at local schools and colleges
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