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Southeast Gardening: Welcoming Front Yard Landscape

Follow these strategies from Lowe's Southeast regional gardening contributor Linda Askey for a welcoming front-yard landscape.

House numbers are now plainly visible.
 An overgrown shrub concealed our house numbers.

From the time family and guests turn past our mailbox into our drive until they enter the front door, they are in the front yard. It is the place that says, "Welcome." The front yard makes a first impression, so I gave mine a fresh look and found I needed to tweak a few things.

If guests or emergency personnel are trying to find my house, I need to have my house number clearly displayed where it can be seen from the street. In our case the house is too far away, so the mailbox does the job.

An overgrown arborvitae the previous owners planted when they built the house practically enshrouded the mailbox. I hadn't cut down the arborvitae because I used its branches in holiday decorations. However, its time had come.

  The mailbox needed a lot of work to get it looking like the homeowners cared.

The mailbox itself needed attention. An old alarm company sticker and faded numbers gave the appearance that the people living here didn't care very much. After applying a single-edge razor blade, sandpaper and a coat of spray paint, the mailbox looks much better. Larger, more distinct house numbers finished it off.

 Crape myrtle flowers made a mess of the steps.

The path from guest parking to front door is critical. A leaf blower does the best job of getting rid of leaves, spider webs and everyday dirt on the walk, steps and porch. I'd been so busy pulling weeds and watering, I hadn't noticed the crape myrtle flowers that had fallen on the steps. A rechargeable blower I keep in a coat closet is easy to grab for a quick cleanup.

 Foliage plants by the front door trumpet a happy home.

Finally, touching up the planter by the door made our home feel like a happy one. The planter is in a shaded corner with a northeastern exposure. Hostas, variegated ivy, caladiums and tropical foliage plants are good for summerlong color.

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