Designing An Entrance Garden

Designing An Entrance Garden


R Birch

Foundation plantings have traditionally been intended to screen cement foundations of houses. This is a bit short sighted, however. Creating a welcoming entrance garden is a more appropriate way go about designing these spaces. Entrance gardens are important as they re able to integrate houses and gardens with the surrounding landscape.

Entrance gardens should be welcoming and open. They can draw attention to architectural details or screen architectural flaws. When deciding what to use in the garden, try to avoid planting rapidly growing plants which can quickly become obtrusive, outgrow their allotted space, block views and obstruct access. Entrance garden are usually the front garden at most homes and can benefit from plants which have year-round interest, such as evergreens or deciduous shrubs with colorful autumn foliage or berries in the winter. Specimen shrubs, such as a interesting flowering deciduous shrub or a dwarf evergreen, work exceptionally well in an entrance garden. Use specimen shrubs sparingly in your garden, however, in order to avoid the one of everything look.

The shrubs which run between the entrance and corner of the house and are most effective when designed to be simple. Low growing shrubs generally work best as they won t block views from the windows. Tall shrubs require frequent pruning and often result in awkwardly shaped plants.


Corner plantings which include tall shrubs or even small trees screen back yards as well as blend the garden in with surrounding landscape. All shrubs in the entrance garden should be placed where they won t interfere views or touch the house when they mature.

Steer clear of exceedingly symmetrical designs since they can end up looking quite boring. Garden designs should have the same weight on both ends of the garden. Individual garden elements can consist of shrubs of different sizes, forms, and textures.

Simple designs often create the most successful gardens so try to limit the number of species of plants and paving material used in garden. You ll have an easier time tying your garden together. You ll also get you the most from each element. Strike a balance, variety is also important to create interest.

Plan your garden first on paper, before you begin planting, this give you something to refer to as you plant. Know the mature height of all the plants you ll be using in your design. One of the most common mistakes gardeners make is improper plant selection and placement. Another mistake is over planting. Though your garden may look a bit sparse early on, you ll avoid overcrowding in the future. Be sure to place your shrubs so that as they grow the foliage does not touch the structure. This will allow adequate air flow and will prevent the growth of mold.

To emphasize certain plants in your garden use contrasting shapes, colors, or textures. For instance, the large pale green leaves of a hydrangea contrast nicely with the dark green needles of a mugo pine.

A successful garden design requires more than simply screening the unsightly architectural flaws of a house. With thoughtful planning a foundation planting can be transformed into a welcoming entrance garden.

Tim Birch is the publisher of


, a garden resource site for the gardening enthusiast.

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