I spent the winter planning an arbor for the entrance to our gravel seating area, which I posted about here in January.
I wanted to define the way into this garden, and thought an arbor with a kiwi vine (Actinidia kolomikta) would do it. I gathered lots and lots of inspiration photos, which kept me busy much of the winter.
So now, here it is. Ta Da! A metal moongate arbor, waiting for a nice climbing vine and some summer weather.
Jim and I installed it during the cold, windy days of early April. It's an inexpensive aluminum structure, wobbly and insubstantial. The woody kiwi vine, which I will plant on the left side, will probably be heavy enough to tear it down in a season.
The four slender legs are just kind of stuck in the ground, but Jim dug down as deep as he could to stabilize it. You can't dig very deep in New England -- you hit ice age boulders at 8 inches, so it sits where it sits and we'll hope the vine holds it down.
I like it.
The half moon gate is as flimsy as the rest of the contraption, and is difficult to latch. It will drive me crazy coming and going through this area.
But I still really like it.
A casualty of the installation was the nice creeping thyme that was establishing around the bluestone steps. We added a third step so you can walk from the pavers up to the gate without stepping onto the grass. Did you know that laying stone is a job that is way harder than it looks? It is.
I could have dug up the thyme and saved it to replant around the new steps, but I didn't. It was cold, it was windy, and we just started digging, thinking the stones could be jiggered in and nestled among the creeping thyme. Of course not.
So I have to get more plugs to reestablish a carpet around the steps. It is Thymus serpyllum 'Albus'. Where it was planted before, it was quite nice, with white flowers that bloomed forever throughout June, and a thick mat of greenery the rest of the time. You step on it and it smells fragrant.
Here it is, back when we had roses growing above the thyme mat. The roses were taken out, but I love this picture of pink petals sprinkled on the tiny white blossoms.
This thyme spreads quickly, so the steps under the moongate arbor will be softened and look more natural.
The kiwi vine will grow quickly to cover one side of the arch. I'll post a follow up when it all starts to look as I imagined it.