Garden Photo of the Day

READER PHOTO! A blue gate that’s irresistible to visitors

Click here to enlarge this photo.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jan Johnsen

Today’s photo is from Jan Johnsen, a garden designer in Mount Kisco, New York. She says, “Who doesn’t love the mystery of a blue gate? This is the main entry to a spiral vegetable garden that I designed in a far off corner of a lovely property. The gate, flanked by two dark green boxwoods, is part of a protective wire mesh fence (to ward off rabbits, etc.) hidden amongst a dense shrub border. It is set back on a paved landing of aged cobblestones. I used this material as much for looks as for the necessity to have a hard surface under a gate threshold. Wheelbarrows and excessive traffic can wear down the earth here so a paved apron is a good idea. I also relocated a large gold threadleaf false cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Filifera Aurea’, USDA Hardiness Zones 4-8) just beyond the gate to act as a bright yellow-green backdrop. When the afternoon sun hits it, the cypress seems to glow. The ‘Goldmound’ spirea (Spiraea japonica ‘Goldmound’, Zones 4-9) picks up the yellow in the front plant border.  This particular shade of blue on the gate was specifically chosen by my wonderful client for its richness and depth. With all these little touches, the blue gate is an irresistible draw to a visitor.” Thanks, Jan, for sharing! Check out Jan’s blog here.

Welcome to the Fine Gardening GARDEN PHOTO OF THE DAY blog! Every weekday we post a new photo of a great garden, a spectacular plant, a stunning plant combination, or any number of other subjects. Think of it as your morning jolt of green.

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View Comments


  1. arboretum 01/05/2011

    charming. love the thoughtfulness behind the yellow components. In the garden, few color duos beat yellow and blue!

  2. gottagarden 01/05/2011

    Very handsome! nice design, the gold really makes the blue gate stand out.

    I also have a spiral vegetable garden. Would love to see your photos of that!

  3. raleighgardener 01/05/2011

    Yes, I think we'd all love to see photos of the spiral vegetable garden! This gate is an inviting entrance, not a forbidding stay out type of thing.

  4. mandysandy 01/05/2011

    This is gorgeous. Would love to see what's behind the gate and how they treated the wire fence that protects the vegetable garden.

  5. bamboomary 01/05/2011

    Blue gates are always a winner especially with the contrasting golden plants. I also checked out Jans blog, I love her use of ornamental grasses.

  6. jan johnsen 01/05/2011

    Thank you all for such wonderful comments....It has brightened this winter dsy for me so much.

    I do work with ornamental grasses a lot because they're deer resistant which is a big plus where I live!

    BTW, that is a 'Diablo' Ninebark on the right of the photo

  7. lam5991 01/05/2011

    What a beautiful scene! I want to walk through that gate and find more of your lovely gardens!

  8. sheilaschultz 01/06/2011

    There are so many words I could use in describing my thoughts about this photo. I'll cut to the chase and say that you have created a beautiful vision. Thank you Jan. Keep designing...

  9. MaggieR 01/06/2011

    gorgeous Jan...your gardens always make one want to visit and linger there

  10. cornergardener 02/08/2011

    I was so taken with this blue gate photo that i was inspired to do a painting of it. Truly a beautiful choice, Jan!

  11. jovifriend 03/19/2011

    I love this so much I posted it as my desktop wallpaper. And has a screensaver widget, jack the puppy, I downloaded by conincidence. Now the garden has a puppy randomly running through it or sleeping under a bush, or chasing his tail...delightful! Jan has a masterful composition - the echo of the blue gate in the iris struck me - and I wish her signature was on my desktop somewhere.

  12. jan johnsen 06/07/2011

    Corner gardener - I would love to see your painting! Serenity in the Garden is my facebook page

  13. jan johnsen 07/17/2011

    The spiral vegie garden is a wonder this year....I hope to write an article about it on my blog, 'Serenity in the Garden' for you all....or better yet, for Fine Gardening magazine...:D

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