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July 12, 2023

How to Build a Moon Gate

how to build a moon gate

Gateways add drama to gardens. Island tradition suggests that anyone passing through a moon gate - particularly newlyweds -- will see their wishes come true.

Simple moon gates can be constructed using plywood and 2-by-4s. Cut the plywood to match the size of your moon gate entrance, nail it securely to the wall and use two 2-by-4s as supports on either side to form its curves.


Moon gates provide passage from one space into another and its circular form symbolizes completion, continuity and protection. Moon gates originated in ancient Chinese gardens as an auspicious sign to welcome and protect visitors. English gardeners borrowed this idea for use in their designs during the 19th century - whether freestanding or built into walls.

Fivecat Studio created this landscape design featuring a coursed stone moon gate resembling its circular arch entrance, providing privacy for the courtyard beyond. For more details and images of this project visit Fivecat Studio website.

Location and context determine where a moon gate should be installed. A moon gate within a wall adds visual interest and serves as an architectural focal point in large gardens, drawing visitors in for exploration of its surroundings.

Moon gates can serve to connect different spaces within a large garden. This example, designed by Green Spring Gardens Foundation in Maine for their public garden in Maine, connects a boxwood garden to both a water feature and walkway leading down to several ponds below.

Moon gates add an aura of mystery and intrigue to a garden setting, while their use also serves as an effective way of marking property limits or private gardens. When placed within city gardens, moon gates serve as attractive yet effective barriers against unwanted access by neighboring streets or neighbors.


Moon gates serve as an essential gateway between gardens, courtyards and interior/exterior environments, symbolizing completeness and continuity between worlds connected through its sweep. Moon gates may be built of stone or brick and used as part of walls, arbors or even standalone structures like this one found in Bermuda.

This moon gate exudes Chinese charm, made even more so by being slightly elevated - giving visitors the feeling they are entering an exclusive private space not easily accessible by others.

Moon gates can be constructed from many different materials to match the gardener's personal aesthetic. Stone blocks offer traditional elegance while ceramic tile adhered to a form provides contemporary flair. Metal allowed to oxidize has rustic charm while wooden structures constructed with cedar or pressure treated wood are resilient against nature.

This moon gate, made out of rocks, takes an unconventional approach to the classic moon gate design: more formal but nonetheless visually interesting thanks to the way rocks have been stacked to add visual interest.


Moon gates draw visitors into your garden with their distinctive circular opening, creating an idyllic passageway. Moon gates can be made out of any material imaginable - traditional stones and brick, to more contemporary wood or living plants - creating the ideal atmosphere.

Traditional moon gate construction includes creating a stone arch. This requires some masonry skills and patience. Once complete, a keystone will complete its circle. These types of gates can often be found in Chinese gardens as they symbolize an entryway between different areas or between this world and another realm.

An easier method of building an arch for your moon gate requires only plywood and 2 by 4s. Simply position the half-moon form where desired on the wall and nail two 2-by-4s to the wall for early support before slowly lowering and filling with sand until its top meets with that of your walls - however this type of moon gate requires maintenance as heavy rain or wind could easily blow it over!

Metal trellises make for another unique type of moon gate. While most metal gates feature rusty finishes, this moon gate features smooth slats that blend beautifully with both its surroundings - garden walls and bush plants - for an almost natural aesthetic that gives gardens more of an organic feeling than artificially constructed structures would.


Chinese garden culture sees moon gates as a symbolic representation of heaven and a gateway between this world and the next, symbolizing birth, renewal, family unity, transitioning between gardens and houses, public and private spaces as well as acting as symbols of luck and good fortune for newlyweds entering together for the first time through them. Newlywed couples should often bring along both sets of parents for this symbolic experience when first entering.

This striking garden design showcases an innovative moon gate that combines traditional and modern elements into an eye-catching focal point. Although different than other moon gate designs, as the opening passageway isn't completely circular - nonetheless it adds charm and character to this lovely garden landscape!

This moon gate features an elegant yet simple design, yet adds immense character to the garden. The round opening contrasts beautifully with its surrounding fence. This moon gate serves as another fantastic example of how modern gardens can incorporate moon gates without compromising functionality or style; add Asian influences with this design for an Asian flair in their landscape and spark conversations when visitors arrive!