When it comes to making a good first impression, you only get one attempt. Your garden gate is one of the first things that greets people to your home, so as well as keeping your property safe, it also needs to look good. That’s why, to help you make the right choice, we have compiled the best brands to know and asked top garden designers for their advice on everything from choosing the right wood to avoiding issues with installation.
5 of the best places to buy garden gates
Traditional, wooden, salvaged or something a little different?
The Garden Trellis Company
Founded in 1992, this company stocks inexpensive wooden gates and offers a bespoke service from design to installation. Gates can be finished with stain or paint in a wide variety of colours. gardentrellis.co.uk
Screen With Envy
Known for its patterned garden screens and trellises, this London-based company also makes garden gates. Available in a wide range of designs – from nature-inspired and Moroccan patterns to more graphic, geometric designs – they are a stylish and contemporary option. screenwithenvy.co.uk
The Great Gate Company
This family-run company can make custom gates in historic, bespoke and contemporary styles, with durable powder-coated and galvanised finishes. Its classic wrought-iron designs make for an especially sleek garden entrance. thegreatgatecompany.co.uk
Don’t want to chance finding a gem in reclamation yards? This Herefordshire specialist stocks a wide range of reclaimed gates in cast iron, wrought iron and wood, as well as salvaged gateposts, railings and decorative finials. englishsalvage.co.uk
Laser Cut Screens
Using specialist techniques, Laser Cut Screens creates bespoke designs in a range of materials including natural and distressed metallic finishes or Corten steel, and can be painted in any gloss or matt RAL colour. lasercutscreens.co.uk
The insider guide to choosing a garden gate
We asked three top garden designer for advice on everything from materials to installation
How do I choose what style of gate I need?
When choosing a garden gate, functionality is key. First, you should decide its main purpose. ‘A front gate is usually just a visual deterrent,’ says Paul Hensey at Green Zone Design. ‘You don’t actually want to lock people out. A side or back gate, however, needs to be sturdy and secure to prevent people entering a private garden.’
If keeping children or animals safely in is a priority, opt for a more solid garden gate. ‘It also helps if there are no footholds or gaps where kids could get stuck,’ adds Hensey. ‘Position locks high, or choose a mechanism that can only be operated by adults.’
What should I consider before I buy a garden gate?
Think about the width of anything that needs to fit through your garden gate, such as prams and bins, as well as how much privacy you require. Finally, pay attention to what the gate will be hung on: if the original gate is missing or needs replacing, the gateposts may need an upgrade too.
What material is best for a garden gate?
‘Do you want the gate to be a focal point, or do you want it to blend into its surroundings?’ asks garden designer Catherine Clancy. ‘This question will help to dictate the material.’ If you have wooden fencing, for example, it makes sense to choose the same timber.
Certified woods such as oak or balau are durable choices, as are treated softwoods such as pine, which can be painted in a bespoke shade.
‘A gate painted the same colour as the front door can provide a wonderful visual link,’ says garden designer Andrew Duff. A period property will often suit more traditional metalwork and most specialist manufacturers can copy a specific historic design. Incorporating patterns or motifs taken from the architecture of the house will help to create cohesion.
Is there anything I should know when choosing a salvaged gate?
If you want to go the pre-loved route and choose a salvaged garden gate, there are plenty of places to hunt out a gem and, says, Duff, ‘a good metalworker will be able to alter the size to fit the dimensions you need’.