Aug 11th, 2009

Moonbeams and Moon Gates at Lewis Ginter

by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

The moon gate during Garden Fest, photo by Don Williamson

The moon gate during Garden Fest, photo by Don Williamson

Lewis Ginter has a new addition on the way — we are building a moon gate!

Although I have seen moon gates before (in fact there was a moon gate  in the formal garden’s of the church where I grew up) I never before knew what they were called.  Lewis Ginter’s moon gate will act as door into the Asian Valley section of the Garden. Typically, moon gates act as  a transition to a special place of beauty, and this moon gate will be no different.  Just on the other side, the splendid Asian Valley will be framed, with the Robins Tea House not far behind.  And often, moon gates frame a particular view, making visitors want to stop and take note of a particular area.  In this case, our new moon gate will do all of that, plus act as an entrance into a new garden “room”.

One of the Garden’s volunteers, Scott Martin, who has been a volunteer in the Asian Valley for 3 years, also happens to be a woodworker and was commissioned to create this piece out of Western Red Cedar.  Of course I couldn’t resist taking this photo of the moon next to the still-under-construction moon gate in the middle of the day –moon gates apparently attract the moon!

Our moon gate is going to be huge! Try to imagine this. The circle, which will hang from chains from inside this gate,  will be 9 feet tall,  the circle will be 10 1/2 feet wide, and the moon part of the gate will be 5 1/2 inches thick, made up of about 30 layers of very thin cedar layered together and bent into a circle.  Looking at the photo below, see if you can imagine a 3/4 to almost a full circle hanging from this gate frame below.   This is going to be a work of art, and I can’t wait to see the finished result. You can be sure I’ll post photos as soon as it is complete — possibly in the next 2 weeks.  In the mean time, if you happen to be walking by and see Scott working on the moon gate, be sure to stop by and say hello.

Jonah Holland is Digital Content Manager at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, where she has worked for 14 years overseeing social media, the blog, and the website. She is also a mom, yogi, open water swimmer, gardener, and seeker. She's been known to go for a walk in the Garden and come back with hundreds of plant photos, completely inspired to write her next blog post.

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