The 10 “Must-Have’s” in your Landscape: #4 A Welcoming Front Entry

Front DoorThis is the fourth in a series of articles on the Ten “Must-Have’s” in your Landscape. Front entries are so important as this is often the first encounter a visitor will have to your home.  You want to make the entrance welcoming so here are a few suggestions that help make a front entrance one to be proud of.

1. Path and Front Door should be Visible

This seems obvious, but I have seen properties where the overly aggressive groundcover has covered up the path and overgrown shrubs have nearly covered the entrance so you can’t see the front door.  Any shrub that is planted by the front door needs to be size appropriate.  It may be the right size when we purchase it from the nursery, but check the mature height and width before bringing it home.  I have seen shrubs like Arborvitaes planted on either side of the entry (and this is common) and when the shrubs start to reach their mature size, there is not much room for visitors to get past them!  The passage to the front door should be unobstructed.  Keep the path and entry porch clean and free of leaves and other natural debris.

2. Focal points

Regina2The front entrance is a great place for focal points. These can be urns with seasonal plants placed at the base of the front steps, a fountain near the front door (the sound of water is so welcoming and peaceful), containers on the front porch or entry with evergreen plants or flowers, rocking chairs or a swinging chair, large lanterns, colorful cushions, and the list goes on. The photo to the left shows the entry to Regina’s house. She is one of the talented designers at the Family Tree Garden Center.  You will see that she has pretty much ticked all the boxes when it comes to focal points and her entry is stunning. You just want to curl up on the swing and stay for a while.

3. Placement of Containers

Regina urns (1)Beautiful front entry (1)Containers with plants should be placed so that they don’t constrict the entry.  Don’t make your guests have to revert to single file in order to weave their way through the containers.  I am definitely guilty of this one. When you are a plant-a-holic it is difficult to stop at just a few containers on the front porch!  Keep it simple, but stunning.  If you are not sure about what plants to put in your containers, come and check out some of our custom containers at the store to give you some ideas, or we can design the containers for you.

4. Annual Color

Regina3 (1)The path to the front door is the perfect place for a bed of annuals.  It doesn’t have to be very big to provide a pop of color. You can change the look of the front of your house just by changing up the annual bed color. Again this is Regina’s entry but with different annual color. Notice how different the pathway looks just from the change in annuals.

5. Hanging Baskets

front-porch-20These are great for instant curb appeal. Boston ferns are a favorite hanging basket and you don’t have to worry about the greenery clashing with your house color.  If you are choosing flowering hanging baskets, try to keep the color scheme uniform so that the hanging baskets tie in with your annual bed colors, or compliment the colors of your house.  In the attached photo the baskets mimic the colors in the landscape.

6. Outdoor Lighting

11-stunning-photos-of-landscape-lighting-pegasus-lighting-blog-exterior-landscape-lightingIt is nice to have some form of outdoor lighting that will illuminate the pathway and other features of the house. Not only does this make it easier for guests arriving after dark, but the house looks inviting with outdoor lighting.

If you are still not sure where to begin, come in and see us at the Family Tree. We also offer a free Quick Sketch or a full Landscape Design Service that will help you get started.

Happy Gardening!
Tracy Davis

Check out the rest of Tracy’s list of the top 10 ‘must-haves’ for your landscape!

#1 Foundation Plants
#2 Trees
#3 Screening
#4 A Welcoming Front Entry
#5 Pops of Color
#6 Focal Points
#7 Nooks
#8 Hardscaping
#9 Entertaining Areas
#10 Animal Friends