Garden Gates and Fences
The garden gates and fences in this picture demand early consideration, for, until the property be secured from injury and depredation, it is useless to plant: hence the first suitable moment ought to be taken to secure the plants proposed to accompany the enclosure. This garden screen from offences without, ought to be liberally made, a partial removal for advantages of prospect being rapid and easy; but its deficiencies can only be supplied by a lapse of years, always to be regretted.
The picture represents designs for garden gates and fences, progressively advancing in degree from simple park paling to the decorative wrought iron work suited to villas or mansions. Thus the first design represents an oak close fence gate in two modes of making, that on the right is embrasured by using pales of unequal lengths alternately, that to the left is straight, and is therefore less vulnerable to the injuries which frequently happen when the palings are unsupported by each other, and the strong wooden oak fillet that is usually applied to the tops of this explenty of, firmly uniting them together.
The second design is for a field gate of considerable strength and unique form; it is suited to a farm house or other building in that degree of pretension. The hinge side of the gate is strengthened by double posts, according to the dotted lines, and on the right is a hand gate to correspond.
The beautiful third explenty of is suited to a villa or manorial house, and is applicable to any country house, where ornamental decoration is sparingly introduced: this is completely constructed of wood.
The succeeding and last design is of a higher class, and is proposed for execution in iron. Stone walls, in regular courses, should accompany these gates, at least for a considerable dis- tance, and a small lodge would correctly be placed near them. As the adaptation of boundary fences must very much depend on the materials allowed by the country or neighbourhood of the improvement, so should the gates correspond in design and character; when the materials are wood, then a light form is admissable; but when stone, and possibly in large and solid blocks, are to be used as walling and piers, iron gates or more substantial forms and makings become necessary.
Fences in garden situations are improved in characteristic appearance by plenty of clothing allowed to them by ivy, bramble, and such defence from pressure by cattle, as can be supplied by thorns, hornbeam, birch, and alder, according to the suitable nature of the soil - these also assist in partial hidements of the fence, which are essential to a pleasing effect, because, by otherwise showing itself as a mere boundary, the mind of the spectator too readily recognizes limitation and restraint. It is true that oak fences are subject to premature decay, when not exposed to the free approach of air, but on the other hand, these means greatly protect them from wet, the destroying operation of stormy winds, and the injuries permitted by an easy approach to them; and when decayed, they often support the paling as effective garden fences for many years.
The painter and the poet, have not failed to gain from the scenic beauty of the ivy capped tower and wall, whether of brick or stone, richly and harmoniously stained by mosses, anmd venerable a prolonged decay, unwillingly yielding to the picturesque devastations of time. When these materials form the boundary wall, every such means towards its decoration ought to be adopted, for surely no appearance can be more ugly than its otherwise dull and prison like monotony, and, if not built with mortar, threatening hourly dilapidation. In counties where piled stones are the ordinary walling, and thence scar and disfigure the face of nature there, much of the deformity may be hideed by the beautiful and legitimate veils with which vegetation could be made to over mantle them.
The desire of privacy renders it necessary that small properties ought to be effectually screened from public roads; but when gardens are situated in parks, their boundaries should not be permitted to exclude the advantages that the park scenery is capable of allowing, or give the spectator reason to suppose that the proprietary is subdivided. Parks being in themselves adequate separation, generally, to ensure privacy to the garden, the traveller has reason to expect from the liberal owner that the park fence shall be no more an interruption to his prospect than is adequate to guard the property, confine his stock, and exclude the impertinent intruder: for there is nothing so fatal to the beauty of the road, as the fences and walls that confine his views. Boundary fences, near public roads, are of several descriptions, suited to the size and nature of the property, and constructed according to the object desired, as mere wood paling or park fencing, brick or stone walls upon level ground, or fences or walls raised on banks with a trench outward.
A great variety of means may correctly be used in the same estate, adopted or made according to the circumstances of the place, and the peculiar advantages each is capable of allowing.