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July 12, 2023

A Moon Gate Arch Symbolizes Birth and Renewal

moon gate arch

Reminiscent of Chinese architecture, this moon gate arch provides a wide entranceway into your garden. As an inviting focal point, it invites guests into an area for contemplation and relaxation.

Circular openings in walls are an iconic Chinese motif and can be found throughout Bermuda gardens. Newlyweds often step through one for good luck in marriage.

Origins

Moon gate arches are an elegant way of defining and connecting outdoor spaces, whether bare or covered in soft trellises of clematis, bougainvillea, or wisteria. Hailing from Chinese garden culture, these circular openings in walls create welcome passageways while symbolizing birth and renewal.

Old House Journal reports that moon gates were traditionally part of Chinese garden walls, though their visual rise out of the landscape made them more welcoming than solid walls. Furthermore, their circular openings also marked a transition from outside to inside or public to private spaces.

Today, moon gates have become a beloved element in many Asian-influenced gardens and Bermudan architecture. Introduced during the late 19th century and with slight variance from their Chinese original design due to freestanding placement instead of wall building, moon gates are considered good luck by newlyweds in Bermuda as they pass through these ceremonial gateways after their weddings.

Symbolism

Moon gates symbolize a connection between heaven and earth to bring auspicious energy to those who enter. Historically, these gates were included as part of garden walls in Chinese gardens to welcome guests with open arms; today gardeners and home owners are using them as part of their landscape designs too.

Traditionally Chinese Moon Gates are free-standing portals featuring circular openings in walls. Constructed of wood, stone or other materials and usually white in color with grey edges. Some versions also feature doors or even lion head door knockers to complete their appearance.

If you prefer something modern and sophisticated, opt for a moon gate that features a variety of fresh and faux greenery such as ivy, ruscus or other varieties to give an air of romance. Or choose a pond-style moon gate with waterfall, to make an eye-catching statement. Either way, ensure your gate is located in an idyllic area near water to create harmony and balance.

Design

Moon Gate arches provide an inviting passageway in any garden. Our wood circle moon gate feature is handcrafted using high-grade and sustainably-sourced timber circles connected by smaller wooden slatted bars to add style and structural integrity. Perfectly suitable as climbing plants frame this striking focal point in any outdoor space!

Ancient Chinese gardens used gateway designs as a means of welcoming guests and offering good fortune and renewal, and often served as gateways between gardens, symbolizing transition from earthly to celestial realms.

English gardeners first introduced moon gates into American gardens during the late 19th century, and American gardeners quickly adopted them enthusiastically. While their Asian counterparts were usually embedded into walls, American moon gates are typically freestanding structures whose mystical quality makes them especially suitable for wedding ceremonies where newlyweds may step through them for good luck. A moon gate may also connect different garden worlds - as Dean Herald of Rolling Stone Landscapes shows here with this exquisite example created from wood and metal from their studio in Kansas.

Materials

Dependent upon the design you choose, moon gate arches can be crafted out of various materials. Brick provides a timeless classic aesthetic while stone, concrete or even metal make for beautiful gates.

DIY moon gate building with wood and some basic masonry skills. Start with two 2 x 4s for base material, then create the arch shape using plywood forms secured to each end with nails anchored into the ground using nails at either end. When complete, fill your moon gate with bricks before adding an anchor stone at its apex for extra stability.

Rocks, ponds and water features are essential elements in Chinese gardens, while moon gates serve as the perfect frame to highlight them. Their graceful encircling frame intensifies the scene during daylight and night-time illumination only adds further attraction. Rocks also add tranquility and sorcery which symbolize Chinese cultures.

Installation

Moon gates add beauty and grace to a landscape. Their graceful form encloses and enhances scenes while drawing our gaze toward them, serving to connect contrasting elements of gardens - it is often part of formal entranceways into Chinese nobility gardens.

Moon gates may be constructed using various materials. Granite blocks bring an oriental flair, while ceramic tile adhered to forms gives a modern aesthetic. Metal left to oxidize creates an old world appearance while wood, whether pressure treated or cedar, adds natural charm.

This freestanding moon gate arch is an excellent addition to any garden and comes backed by the Royal Horticultural Society with a 10-year structural guarantee. You can leave it bare or train climbing roses, clematis, bougainvillea or wisteria over it to give a more subtle yet organic appearance. Plus it makes a fantastic backdrop for weddings or events; simply decorate the circular opening with flowers for romantic evening events or simply welcome friends and family as this garden arch becomes the focal point in your landscape!