11 Nov Fabulous Front Entries
Mention landscaping and most people conjure up an image door of a house with evergreens flanking the front steps. Included in this picture is a walkway and manicured lawn. But a front entry can be so much more. Because it is a space that is passed through everyday, it should receive at least as much attention as more private areas of the yard. Fabulous front entries can easily be created using a bit of imagination. Instead of simply planting boxwood, why not add inviting areas of interest? Add inviting waves of lavender or creeping thyme. And what could be more captivating than cottage style blooms and shrubs? Creating an attractive front entrance needn’t be difficult. Simply take into account its purpose and approach it with the same passion as you do your backyard gardens.
Embrace the Challenges
There are many elements that make creating a front entry garden a challenge. Not only is it a garden in the traditional sense, but it is also a transitional area between your private spaces and the world beyond. As such, it should compliment your home’s architecture and style, as well as relate to its surroundings. A cedar-shingled cape would look out of place beside formal beds and sculpted evergreens, but it would feel right at home in an English style cottage garden. Similarly, the angular lines of a contemporary would be enhanced by the simple serenity of a Japanese style garden.
Consider Mature Plant Size
When creating your entry garden, it is important to consider the final size of all landscape plants. You want your plants to remain in scale with the site as well as the house. It’s not hard to find examples of shrubs and trees that have grown out of scale with their surroundings. They’re crowding the doorway, blocking the windows and elbowing one another for space. So many varieties and cultivars are available today that it is possible to find more diminutive versions of your favorite plants, ones that will remain compact and not threaten to take over the front yard.
Where to Begin
Design the front entry as you would any other garden. Select trees and shrubs to provide structure, form and architectural interest. Fill in with perennials, annuals and ground covers. Create a sense of balance by arranging plants in either a symmetrical or asymmetrical fashion. Identical plants on either side of the door or walkway are in balance and impart a very formal appearance. Conversely, one large plant opposite three smaller ones is also balanced, though in a more casual, less formal way. As you plan your design, consider how the colors and textures of the planting will work with one another and with your home. Fabulous front entries should look good in all seasons – a critical point, since the front garden is always on display. And don’t forget to include a container garden or two in your plan. These are a great way to add seasonal color to your front garden.
As with plantings, the colors and textures of the walkway and stoop materials should compliment your home. A formal Georgian home looks best with a brick walkway, while a contemporary design may look better the bluestone or travertine pavers. There are endless options available. Whatever the material, the walkway should be in scale with the front façade of the house. A path that curves toward the house creates ample space for plantings and offers flattering views of the house and gardens. Add lighting to help visitors travel safely.
A house with a beautiful front entry is often described as having “curb appeal”, an attractive and inviting façade that welcomes guests with open arms. If your home doesn’t present the friendly face you’d like, stop by and we’ll help you design a space with a warmer personality.
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