I have been very excited about this project. Before the backyard began being transformed into a garden sanctuary, a cedar privacy fence was built across the back and along one side of the yard. Greg did an excellent job of building this fence. It is a wonderful backdrop to the garden and offers, well, privacy. There is a functional gate at the back for access to the alley. At the front, I wanted something different as an entrance into the garden. My first for today was to see the completion of the garden gate.
Greg designed the entrance, using a great deal of consideration, care and creativity. Using 6×6 posts and cedar, he framed in the supporting structure and used the same tinted toner that he used on the fence. It goes beautifully with the fence. And this is a solid, heavy piece, held securely in place by 720 pounds of cement, below ground. Instead of building a matching gate, the entrance into the backyard is an old wooden door, salvaged from a house that was heavily damaged in the tornado. Greg saw the door being hauled out of the house and asked for it. Ask and you will receive! I love that instead of being thrown away the door now has a special place of importance in my garden.
I helped a little with the support structure, mostly by holding a piece of wood or handing Greg tools. And on the day he was ready to raise the structure and secure it, I did call my nephew Scott to come help! My main contribution to the project was to work on the old door. It survived the storm well, with no damage to the door itself or to the nine panes of thick opaque glass. There was, however, old varnish on the door and a coat of chipped paint. I considered leaving it as it was, since I like chippy paint! Since the door will be outside and exposed to weather, it made sense to strip it and protect it with primer and a couple of coats of exterior paint. And that became my job, to help strip the door and paint it. I chose a teal color that leaned more toward jade green. It’s called La Fonda Artisan Green.
My favorite part about this gate is that the door doesn’t swing open on hinges. Greg designed it to slide open. He installed two small castors on the base and built the enclosure in such a way that the door opens by sliding, or rolling, behind a panel that is part lattice and part solid cedar. It is such a beautiful piece and very welcoming as an entrance. Friends and family who have seen the project in process have said they have not seen another gate like it. A friend gave me the bird bell that hangs near the door. I like the idea of guests ringing the bell for entrance into the garden!
As Greg turns his attention to the final section that will enclose the yard on the north side, I have one more piece to add to the new garden gate. I will affix a sign, or lettering, that states:
Peace to all who enter here
And I truly desire that, for all who pass through the gate. I think of this entrance as the Peace Gate. May it be so.