Wrought iron, an impressive option for the garden

Garden set, pergola, low edge fence, bench, hanging swingset, gate, ornament… Wrought iron multiplies the impact of any garden since it can be worked to fit any style and expectation.

The XIXth century is when metalworks turned mainstream, and steel started being used industrially. Wrought iron works started spreading and its uses even included garden enhancements!

For the past three years, wrought iron has started making a comeback as a key outdoor ornament.

Usually it’s said to compete with wood, but

“Wood is actually something that enhances and emphasizes iron… iron has so many advantages!”

says Bernard Joly, founder of pergola-manufacturing company Métal Vert.

Scores of advantages

The first advantage of wrought iron is its durability. It can handle the flow of decades without taking on a single wrinkle. “For optimal quality, select galvanized iron” recommends the wrought iron expert. “Once in place, you’ll never have to replace it, wrought iron is virtually indestructible”.

Wrought iron is also very easy to care for, it requires no attention at all. Simply run a soapy sponge on it once a season to restore a clean, fresh look. If ever your gate starts rusting a bit, simply apply rust-controller (with a brush or a spray can) before repainting the damaged area, and it will be as good as new for the upcoming six to ten years.

“Lastly, if ever you’re giving a new life to a gate entirely covered with rust, the best solution is to sand it off before repainting”, shares Bernard Joly.

Last but not least: it can take on any shape you can imagine for unlimited creativity, especially if the “weathering steel” class of iron is available in your area.

Irregular dreamy-looking wrought iron fence dancing along a hedge covered in deep green ivy.

Weathering steel – wrought iron’s little brother

Self-burnishing weathering steel – trademarked Cor-Ten® – is a steel that rusts and stabilizes naturally. A first layer of rust forms a protective layer and the iron seems frozen in time. Bernard Joly adds a restriction, though:

“However, Cor-Ten® is only available as sheet metal, so it can be twisted, folded and laser-cut with ease…

However, there aren’t any tube shapes. This reduces the potential range of applications, unlike genuine wrought iron.”

A trendy building material

Wrought weathering steel forming a scuplture, by Bernar Venet.The ornamental appeal is crucial when considering landscaping and house extension projects. New design trends involving wrought iron now make use of laser cutting: it is now possible to request a specific, customized design for your gate or garden table to make a truly bespoke ornament! Moreover, you can find it in any standard color you need.

Wrought iron, in short, brings together the advantages of both vintage items and ultra-modern designer garden trends: an instant winner!

Claire Lelong-Lehoang

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Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Wrought iron passion by Lena ★ under © CC BY 2.0
Wrought iron dancing with ivy by Tom Woodward ☆ under © CC BY-SA 2.0
Bernar Venet ‘217.5° Arc x 12’ by William Murphy ★ under © CC BY-SA 2.0