A garden gate might be seen as an add-on, with the accompanying fence in the starring role leaving the gate with only a bit part. But David Coton thinks they ought to be promoted to top billing.
Whether manufactured from metal or timber, plain or decorated, the garden gate provides a finishing touch, the final flourish, perhaps a fence's crowning glory.
Unpretentious wooden gates fit in well with fences that only have one function, that is to mark a boundary. However, even in these situations a domed top may introduce some interest.
Others, maybe with a trellis or lattice top are virtually indistinguishable from the accompanying fence, but an interesting finial on the gate posts will mark their presence.
Pale fences, particularly those that you lean over to open a latch, are perfect to create a country cottage effect. Again a dome top adds an attractive design alternative. The Tulip Palisade Gate is a good example of a charming variation.
Whether solid or with pales, the infill gate has a solid appearance yet you can see beyond, possibly along a gravel path that leads to a rambling rose covered door.
Metal gates have come back into popularity in recent years, they have a certain quality that adds elegance, lightens the effect of an adjacent brick wall, or handsomely complements adjoining metal railings.
Single or double, with spears, subtle decoration or more elaborate scrolls, there's sure to be one of these distinguished gates that ideally suits the ambiance of your garden and the image you want people to have of your house.
If you have reservations about the longevity of a metal gate due to rusting, there's no need to worry. With present day manufacturing techniques, galvanised metal with powder coating is highly corrosion resistant and the gates are easy to fix to brick, metal or wooden posts.
Whichever style you choose, the garden gate is possibly the first aspect of your house and garden that a visitor notices, with a well designed gate you can make sure their first impression is a favourable one.