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8968moongates and gardens

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  • Kiara
    Nov 25, 2011
      A moon gate is an architectural feature, often found in gardens,
      which originated in Chinese architecture and design. It typically serves
      as an entryway into a garden, though it can be used as a basic entryway
      into just about any type of location. This type of gate usually
      consists of a full circular opening built as part of a large wall, and
      it can be constructed from a number of different materials, including
      wood and stone. A moon gate can be found in a number of elaborate
      gardens throughout China, the US, and the UK, as well as in Bermuda.Sometimes
      called a full moon gate, this gate typically consists of a round
      opening in a large wall that creates an entrance into a garden or other
      outdoor area. This type of gate is a traditional structure that has been
      utilized for centuries throughout China and was originally used
      primarily by the wealthy. As a status symbol, it spread in popularity
      throughout other regions as well, including the US and the UK, and
      continues to be used in gardens throughout many countries.

      The use of a moon gate also spread in popularity to Bermuda
      and has since become a major architectural feature of the country.
      Bermuda moon gates are slightly different from traditional gates,
      however, in that they are often freestanding circular entryways, or they
      may be built into a low fence
      or hedge. In this way, they do not necessarily serve the same function
      as they typically serve in China, where they are often part of a tall
      fence or wall. A moon gate can be built in a number of different ways,
      and it is often constructed using wood, though a stone gate can be made
      using a wooden frame for support.

      In China, the design of a moon gate is largely ceremonial and the
      different pieces of the gate are said to symbolize various aspects of
      Chinese belief and culture. The gate can be left completely open, or a
      rounded fence can be placed within the gate, which can be opened and
      closed as desired. There is also a similar type of gate known as a
      half-moon gate, which usually has straight sides and a rounded arch at
      the top. It is customary for young people and newlyweds to pass together
      through a moon gate for good luck and for a happy, fortuitous life

      above from:
      http://www.wisegeek .com/what- is-a-moon- gate.htm
      Wednesday, 5 January 2011

      Moongate Gardens - do you know of more?

      The moongate at Claydon Gardens in Buckinghamshire
      Another rainy day in
      wintery Britain made me think and reflect on some of the more unusual
      garden features I've seen during the course of my "galloping" in the
      last couple of years and I realised that one such feature was the
      "Moongate" you occasionally encounter. Big thanks are due here to Diana
      of Elephants Eye who
      commented on a recent blog entry and told me the name of this feature.
      I have to confess that prior to my enlightenment, I just thought of it
      as a hole in wall found in English gardens!

      Latchetts, Sussex (open for NGS)

      I've tried to research the
      origin of moongates, but come up with little more information than this
      feature having its origins in China, and that it's "a circular
      passageway found in Chinese, Japanese and Bermudian architecture" . But
      it's obviously a landscape architecture feature of British gardening

      Jan Johnsen also featured a moongate on her blog - Serenity in the Garden
      - last year, when writing about Naumkeag in Massachussets, and you can
      see what she has to say by clicking on the link. The only other
      reference I could find was to a silver gilt medal winner at the RHS
      Tatton Flower Show in July of 2004, where a moongate was featured in a
      Japanese garden and another winning show garden - "Through the
      Moongate" designed by Lesley Bremness for Chelsea in 2007 - which won a
      bronze award.

      Notable gardens in Britain that have moongates are Claydon House in Buckinghamshire (top), the magical gardens at West Green House; Great Comp
      in Kent; the Lake House in Hampshire (below) and Latchetts in West
      Sussex, which both open for the National Gardens Scheme in 2011. Check
      their website (listed in Notes to Fellow Bloggers on right) for details.

      The moongate at Lake House Hampshire, open for the NGS in 2011
      The really good news is that West Green House
      is re-opening its doors to the public this year on a regular basis
      throughout the season on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 23 April
      to 18 September. This is Marilyn Abbott's glorious garden - an absolute
      must see at any time during the season, but particularly spectacular
      when the tulips (15,000 bulbs planted annually) or alliums are in bloom.
      The moongate here gives a wonderful view over the garden in bloom, or
      the vista beyond, depending on which side of it you're standing.

      West Green House garden's moongate - the garden re-opens three days a week in April 2011
      One of the most unusual gardens in Britain is The World Garden
      at Lullingstone Castle in Kent - home of Tom Hart Dyke, modern-day
      plant hunter who was kidnapped by South American guerillas while
      searching for orchids in Panama in 2005. During his captivity, which
      lasted nearly nine months, he dreamed up the idea of an international
      garden, showcasing plants from all over the world and divided into
      continents. His vision became reality after his release and he has
      created an amazing garden within the former walled kitchen garden at his
      ancestral home in Kent.

      Entrance to the World Garden at Lullingstone Castle in Kent
      But moongates don't stop at ancient structures like most
      of those above. The owners of Austwick Hall in Yorkshire, have designed
      and built their own contemporary moongate in their astounding garden! I
      was so impressed by what they've done, that I've asked them to design
      and install a similar gate at my own garden in Sussex, so watch this
      space and you may well see my own moongate soon!

      The contemporary moongate at Austwick Hall, Yorkshire

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