The landscaping at your front entryway does not need to be a cookie-cutter garden. A few plants growing along the foundation and a straight shot walkway from the driveway to the door can become so much more. Entryway gardens should make an impact. The entryway yard may be the only space a visitor gets to see.
I remember working with my dad to install a patio, using forms to pour pavers in front of my entrance porch. My porch is so narrow that it is an unusable space. My dad didn’t think a patio belonged in the front, and kept asking me why we weren’t installing it in the backyard instead. Little did he know, this was only the first of several patio areas that I had planned. Once completed, it quickly became one of my favorite areas of the yard. My dad came to agree that it was the perfect spot to chat with visitors, or to enjoy the morning with something good to read and a nice cup of tea.
Entryway gardens are a reflection of who we are, and can be designed to make people feel instantly welcome. My front garden lets people know that I love plants, enjoy a riot of color, and have a creative eye. The feeders and birdbaths hint at my love of watching wildlife. The number of available chairs and the occasional skateboard or wandering chicken tells the tale of a busy, active family.
I like to insert personal touches with my collection of gnomes, inherited from my grandmother. I love to hide them so they peek out of the foliage along the pathways. I also like to incorporate edible plants and vegetables such as grape tomatoes, basil, and chives to encourage my kids and visitors to stop, smell, nibble, and watch busy pollinators, as they wander their way to the door. I especially love to see my honey bees gathering nectar for the hive.
Pondless waterfalls or fountains near the front door can be used to mask urban noise, and are soothing and relaxing. A great addition in stressful times.
Lighted pathways offer a more welcoming feel to a home’s entryway. There are so many different lighting options available on the market today. They range vastly in price, style, material. They may be hard-wired into a low voltage system or solar. One idea that I recently saw on Pinterest (that I would like to try), is using exterior rope lighting. Seamlessly tucked along the edge of the pathway, they have low visibility during the day. At night they cast a soft glow, helping to guide guests to the door.
Plants used in the front yard and entryway garden need to complement the building, and provide interest for all seasons through the use of color, texture, and bloom time. Use a mixture of perennials, both deciduous and evergreen shrubs, and trees to create layers of color and texture.
Clematis, climbing hydrangea, or climbing roses on a trellis add vertical interest along a wall, and draw attention from one point to the next.
To accent the front door, paint it a bright color and place a planter nearby that matches or complements the tone.
Smooth flowing lines of the beds and walkways add to the feeling of comfort. Broad paved pathways that converge can create a beautiful small plaza. I love my duel borders of interesting plants that draw a guest down the walkway to the front door.
I love to be able to challenge the “rules’” of landscape design. Creating a landscape that complements not only the building, but those living inside, while giving a visitor an inviting and comfortable feeling is very rewarding. If you think your entryway garden needs attention, The Plant Professionals would be pleased to schedule a visit and provide a quote.