What’s on the Other Side of That Gate?

By Published On: May 22nd, 20241.6 min readCategories: Photos

Design Garden “Rooms” for an Immersive Landscape

A garden gate covered in flowers

Go up the stairs and through the north gate. It leads you to…

I read a book a long time ago about Walt Disney’s use of terrain and landscaping to create an immersive experience for each of the “lands” (Adventureland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, etc.) in Disneyland.

Using structures and plants he visually isolated each area of the park from the other so that once you walked across the boundary of a “land”, you were completely in that land.

I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of an immersive experience in the garden, and so I’ve tried to repeat it here at home. I don’t have the space or financial resources of Disney, so my “lands” are more “room” sized, but I still try to make use of the terrain, landscaping, and a few structures to create a dozen or so unique places around the Acre.

One of my favorite ways to transition gardens is with gates and archways framed with trees and shrubs.

This photo was taken from the orange grove north of the house looking up the stairs to the kiwi gate. This side of the gate is foresty and green. Orange trees, a mature kiwi (named Vince) over the trellis, and blooming nasturtium climbing the fence with orange and yellow flowers.

It’s nice.

But what’s on the other side of the gate?

You can get a glimpse of what’s beyond – definitely not an orange grove – but the only way to find out is to go through the gate.

Discovering what’s on the other side is kind of fun, which is the point of the immersive garden experience.

If you haven’t tried it, you should. Secret gardens (or ones that seem secret) are cool.

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One Comment

  1. Candi A Hurliman June 5, 2024 at 10:42 am - Reply

    Nice idea! In my small urban backyard I might be able to make closet-sized rooms! It’s been non-stop rain here in NW Oregon, but for the first time in weeks we are getting blessed with sunshine. The rainy weather hasn’t impeded the growth of weeds!

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About the Author

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Sage Osterfeld
I’m just a guy with nearly an acre of dirt, a nice little mid-century ranch house and a near-perfect climate. But in my mind I’m a landscaper survivalist craftsman chef naturalist with a barbeque the size of a VW and my own cable TV show. I like to write about the stuff I build, grow and see here at Sage's Acre.

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