Entryways are important for two basic reasons: they are one of the first views that guests gaze upon and they tend to make a statement about the type of landscaping you enjoy. In part, they are an extension of you and therefore entryway plantings should be thoughtfully designed and installed. You’ll be living with the plants and hardscaping on a daily basis, so take your time enjoy the results for years to come. For our purposes we’ll provide a few tips to assist with laying out the area immediately surrounding the front door and walkway to the driveway.
| Start with the path that leads you to your destination.
| Take care of the structural, physical and functional aspects of the site first.
A thorough review of these questions plus others will lay a sound foundation to the project.
- Is there a need for better drainage?
- Do you need a retaining wall?
- What’s the best manner to handle any stairs?
- Are there lighting considerations?
- How heavy will the traffic flow be?
- What type of material and surface qualities are desired?
- What about edging and grass cutting considerations?
- Can you install this yourself or do you need professional assistance?
| From here you can look at design issues:
- What look will compliment the architecture of the home best: straight & formal or an overflowing cottage garden style?
- Use curves in the walk to create expanded beds and an air of surprise.
- What will the color scheme be? It should compliment the house which occupies the largest space in the picture.
- Is this a place in which to actively "garden" or should it be a finished landscaped look?
- Remember to visually and literally connect the entrance to the driveway or other point of origin.
- Don’t be afraid to err on the side of larger planting areas and oversized features. Too many projects are not in proportion to the property and physical needs of the plan.
| When it comes to the actual plant material and design approach–remember a few points:
- There’s no need for a "cookie cutter" approach to your entrance. Just because everyone on the street has Dwarf Alberta Spruces on either side of the door doesn’t mean you can’t be more inventive and think outside the box.
- Choose needled and broad-leaved evergreens as well as deciduous plants and flowering pieces that will create variety and interest for the eye.
- Look for that one special specimen that can really make an entryway sing. Try a low grafted weeping Japanese Maple that you and your guests will enjoy watching mature throughout the seasons.
- Install plant material to match the scale of the house.
- Since flowers will not be present for a good portion of the year, choose plants with good structure and winter interest qualities.
- Be inventive with long blooming perennials, new annuals and containers bursting with seasonal color.
- Containers are also an excellent item to try on the front steps or landing area for simplicity or overflowing color.
- Don’t forget to plant loads of bulbs for early spring enjoyment.
- Keep it simple and clean with a palette of plants limited to 2 or 3 key selections. Stunning effects can be created with a mass underplanting of one plant (i.e. ferns) and backed by 2 dynamic evergreen selections.
Entries are fun because they can take so many different paths to a successful project. So whether you’ll be passing under a garden arch, walking down a bluestone path or being swept off your feet with bountiful plantings be sure to be creative and personal in your approach to this important section of your home landscape.
Hard to find plants and unusual selections are easy to locate at our Nursery in Monroe, CT. Call or contact us for sizes, availability and to reserve your plants today.