Country Lore: Poplar Wood Garden Gate

A reader describes how she built a simple poplar wood garden gate from branches, angle brackets, and chicken wire.

Garden gate

You can make this poplar wood garden gate to protect your garden from dogs and small children.

PHOTO: LORI DZIERZEK

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There is no end to the projects to be done on a small farm. Along our driveway, poplar trees often need thinning out. I decided they were perfect for a poplar wood garden gate at my vegetable garden. I cut down two trees, 12 inches in circumference, and cleaned off the branches.

From the branches, I cut two poles of equal length for the garden gate side rails. Next, I cut the top and bottom rails, with their lengths determined by the width of the gate opening, allowing room for hardware. I attached the top and bottom rails to the side rails using L brackets to form the frame for the garden gate.

I laid some of the leftover lengths of interesting branches across the frame and cut them to create a diagonal design on the gate. I screwed these together with deck screws. The crosspieces provided stability.

Next, I cut chicken wire a little larger than the frame and folded it to fit. Then, using small electrical staples, I tacked the chicken wire around the frame and to the crosspieces.

Using a lag screw hinge-and-eye set, I mounted my gate to the post.

Lori Dzierzek
Aylett, Virginia

indepinc knight
8/22/2012 1:55:46 PM

Love those saplings, too! I used them every year as fence posts. Used reclaimed snow fencing to keep deer out and plastic shopping bags that would wave in the wind to keep the birds away. I've also used dog hair in mesh bags (used) to keep away critters - always have plenty of dog hair... "renewable resource" they call it now. Between bartering with friends and neighbors and loving thrift store/garage sales for everything else, I just didn't realize all those decades what a "green" person I was! :)


steve kauffeldt
1/8/2010 8:58:12 PM

I built a very similar gate a couple years ago. I used a few more branches as i didnt use chicken wire. It works very well as long as you perform some yearly maintenence (ie tighting the screws, fixing holes etc) Very budget friendly and looks great too! great job!