Looking for creative garden gate ideas that will transform your entrance into a charming and artistic statement piece? From DIY wood gates to beautiful wrought iron designs to gates made from more innovative materials, this list is sure to provide some inspiration.
I think part of creating a beautiful garden is having a great entrance.
One that lets you get a glimpse of what you’re missing but doesn’t let you see the whole yard.
This gateway to your green oasis should be as inspiring and imaginative as the outdoor space it leads to.
And set the tone for what you are about to walk into.
Whether you decide to go with a DIY garden gate or buy one already made, the addition of a uniquely designed gate can truly transform your garden’s appearance.
1 | Hang a classic wrought iron gate
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These kinds of wrought-iron gates are what you see a lot of in Charleston. And I love them!
Even when they are shorter, I just love the detailed designs.
However, wrought iron gates are very expensive so I haven’t been able to talk myself into getting one. I’m not sure how well it would fit into my builder-grade neighborhood, anyway 🙂
Instead I bought this metal one* that has the same kind of look but isn’t nearly as expensive.
It’s also pretty sturdy. I have had it for a few years now and so far it hasn’t rusted.
2 | Or a creative metal garden gate
Other people (like Funky Junk Jennifer) have come up with very creative garden gate ideas for replacing wrought iron. Like using an old bed frame.
If you happen to have an old metal frame that’s the right size, this would be a really inexpensive way to get that wrought-iron look.
Margaret at A Way To Garden has apparently done this more than once, and has the DIY instructions on her site if you want to do the same.
3 | Install A Peephole
Still another way to get the look of a wrought iron gate without the expense is to install a metal insert (you actually see a lot of these in Charleston, too).
This is a great way to add a view through a solid wooden gate.
I was surprised to find that inserts like this one* are relatively inexpensive.
It’s a fairly easy DIY project to install, and it’s made of cast aluminum so it shouldn’t rust.
You can get round ones*, too. But I think those would be a little more complicated to get installed correctly.
4 | Put up a gate with an arbor
Framing the gate with an arbor is another way to make the entrance noticeable while directing your focus through the gate and into the yard.
I really love the feeling you get walking through a gated arbor into a garden.
It always seems like you are about to enter somewhere special.
This black metal arbor and gate* is fairly inexpensive and has lasted for quite a few years in my garden.
5 | Create a fence gate
Building a gate that matches your fence creates a cohesive look around your yard.
If you don’t want to make it too obvious that there’s an entrance, you can keep the gate design pretty much the same as the fence. Like they did with this solid wood fence.
To make the gate stand out a little more, you can add an obvious handle to it.
Like the black one on this white picket gate.
Or you can change the shape of the gate.
This one has a top that curves upwards and is a little taller than the rest of the fence.
But still blends in with the design since the fence also has curves in it.
This white picket fence and gate used a similar design, but the height and arch on the gate are much more pronounced.
And the posts on either side of the gate are also larger than they are for the rest of the fence.
All of which make the entrance quite obvious.
Adding an arbor over the top is another way to call attention to the entryway.
Which is what I did when I built the gate to match my DIY custom fence design.
6 | Use A Door
Old doors used as gates are much more common in other parts of the world than they are in North America.
They are an easy, effective and inexpensive way of creating a garden gate. Just add some hinges and a latch.
If you don’t have a wall or tall fence to add the door to. No problem! Just cut a hole in your hedge. (Of course, you will need to install a post on either side – one for the hinges to attach to, and the other for the latch).
I really love the rounded shape of this door and the slats that still let you see through.
Another benefit of using a front door as a gate? You can hang a big planter on the front of it.
Of course, those gorgeous climbing roses are pretty awesome, too!
7 | Or recycle a screen Door
If you want to be able to see through the door into the garden, then using a screen door as a gate might be a good option.
Installing the door is just a matter of adding some hinges and a latch if you have high enough posts that are installed the correct distance apart.
If your screen door is sturdy enough, you can still hang some decor on the front of it, like this wreath.
8 | Get creative with embellishments
If you have a simple gate and want to get a little creative, try installing sheets of copper, small plant hangers or other outdoor accessories on the front of it.
The embellishments will add interest without requiring a whole new gate.
9 | Re-purpose Old Garden Tools
This creative gate comes from Montana Wildlife Gardener, and it’s very appropriate for an avid gardener.
What a great way to re-purpose some old garden tools and add a touch of whimsy.
And it’s a fairly simple way to build a garden gate.
They also have a trellis made out of garden tools, so be sure to head over to their site if you want more details.
10 | Build (and paint) a modern design
If you like a more modern style, this gate design with solid wood on one side and open slats on the other would be an interesting way to go.
I like the way the seems are vertical on the right side of the fence and horizontal on the left.
And the grey on grey paint scheme adds to the flare.
11 | Add a “barely there” gate
If you want a gate that announces the entrance to your garden but doesn’t block the view, use one that is airy instead of solid.
You can accomplish this by using thin pieces of wood with lots of space between them.
Or find a metal gate with a delicate design that you can easily see through.
This one opens on to a stone path that leads through a cottage garden. But you can still see the beautiful flowers without having to go in.
12 | Construct A Moon Gate
Okay, so this isn’t really a gate at all, although it is called a Moon Gate.
But I liked it so much I just had to include it. I think a version of this may become the entrance to my Japanese garden.
As you may have noticed, I have a bit of thing for arbors with circles. And this is the ultimate circle arbor!
I was able to find this metal one* online that isn’t too expensive.
It doesn’t have the same presence as the original but I think it will look pretty with a few climbing plants growing on it.
Well, that’s it for my list of garden gates. Hopefully, you’ve found some ideas for your own yard.
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This post was originally published on September 11, 2018 but was updated with new content on August 25, 2023.