Is it just me? Or are garden gates the new must-have? asks LIZ HOGGARD

When I was growing up, my father insisted my sisters and I used the side gate rather than the front door. ‘You’ll only trail mud and grass through the house,’ he would bellow.

I fantasised about being a grown-up who could ring the bell and sail through the front door.

Even now, 30 years later, when I go home to visit my mother, I trot round to the back. My father’s training runs too deep.

But now a house with a side gate is absolutely top of my wishlist.

Liz Hoggard says that gardens with separate, gated entrances have become a must-have amid the Covid-19 pandemic due to socially distanced gatherings outdoors (stock image)

Liz Hoggard says that gardens with separate, gated entrances have become a must-have amid the Covid-19 pandemic due to socially distanced gatherings outdoors (stock image)

Liz Hoggard says that gardens with separate, gated entrances have become a must-have amid the Covid-19 pandemic due to socially distanced gatherings outdoors (stock image)

It’s the only way to entertain friends this spring as Britain emerges from lockdown and mingling inside is still off the menu.

Even though I’m vaccinated now, it’s all about ‘distance drinks’ in friends’ gardens. 

This week, I had two invites but, sticking to the rules, I didn’t go anywhere near the house. They simply left the gate unlocked and I walked through to the garden, armed with my own cup and bottle.

With mingling inside off the menu, a side gate is top of everyone’s wishlist 

My friend H is asthmatic, so hasn’t met people for months. But under the watchful eye of her GP husband, we enjoyed gossiping and a drink two metres apart. 

Another pal is diabetic, so I even brought my own cushion to keep things safe.

Sadly, I can’t return the favour. My thin narrow London maisonette has steps front and back. 

So I can only dream of welcoming a select few into my garden one day.

If you’d told my sulky teenage self that a side gate would be my property must-have, way above a pool or a greenhouse, I’d never have believed you.

But it turns out that poor old Dad was right. 



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