It’s always a wonderful experience entering a garden but often the garden entrance can leave a little to be desired. In many cases the entrance to the garden can be understated (at best) or completely unrecognizable (at worst).

And, to be perfectly honest, there doesn’t even need to be an entrance – but we often expect to see some delineation between what is, and what isn’t, the garden. Logically we expect to see a location where the garden begins.

The garden entrance could be as simple as a gate or elaborate as a hedged pathway passing between a dry-stone fence. Fortunately there are no hard and fast rules as to what constitutes an entrance point to the garden but they are significant in the way they filter visitors into your yard.

So why have a garden entrance? Is it a necessary component of the modern garden?

As homes get smaller and smaller many home-owners have opted for more open yards. The reasons are simple; gardens aren’t so cluttered, they’re easier to maintain and it keeps the costs down for landscaping the garden. But, it doesn’t offer a lot of intrigue to the garden or any privacy.

How can you create a stylish garden entrance?

The first step is identifying how people approach your yard. Our garden, as an example, started very open. A large part of the landscape was our double-width driveway that seemed the logical starting point. People who arrived in cars would park on the driveway and then access the garden, and our house, by this means. Visitors walking off the street would then have to bypass the cars and access the garden through another point.

It seemed logical to divert this traffic into a common focal point and hence the birth of our garden entrance began. Apart from the driveway the remaining front garden is hedged with some westringea and this is interrupted by a rose arbour – the garden entrance.

The next step in creating a garden starting point is to understand how visitors are going to traverse your landscape. But even more important is what you want them to see and experience. If convenience is your aim then choosing the most direct route is probably a key factor. However, if your desire is to engage your visitors with the garden then directing them through garden beds, annual plantings and landscaped features is part of the journey.

The final step is choosing what design would make an appropriate entrance for your garden. Should it be ostentatious? Secretive, and deserving of further exploration? Or something a little more minimalist? Whatever you choose it should reflect the current design and style of your garden. Here are some ideas;

  • Simple fence and gate – the easiest of garden entrances is just a simple garden fence with a gate to break the barrier.
  • Arbour or Pergola – covered in a creeping rose or some climber this entrance can offer some romanticisim and mystery into your garden. It provides a very welcoming gateway to your yard.
  • Stone Pillars – a formal structure such as pillars can easily direct traffic to a centering focal point and inform your guests as to where your garden starts. Using materials such as stone or local rock can even offer some age to your garden.
  • Archway – not to be confused with an arbour or pergola an archway is fairly two-dimensional. It draws a garden entrance together by keeping some continuation but adds the dimension of height and use of curves to delineate the starting point.

If your garden is lacking a focal starting point consider one of the options above or try creating garden entrance that fits your current style. Your visitors will thank you for it.