The front entryway should complement a house, add to its curb appeal, and connect it visually to the overall landscape. It’s the first thing people see when they come to your house. So why not make it bright, attractive, and welcoming?
Many new-home landscapes sport little more than a few button-shape shrubs along the foundation and a spindly tree out front that’s waiting to grow up and furnish some shade. The result is an uninspired landscape that does nothing for the house.
With a little creativity, you can reap much greater rewards. It starts with an organically shaped bed. The bed’s soft contours offset the boxy shape of a house much better than a rectangle bed.
Anchor the bed with woody plants for year-round structure. In this case, a small tree and large shrub pruned into the shape of a tree mask the corners of the house. The crabapple tree offers spring flowers, fall fruit, and winter architecture while the panicle hydrangea provides a splashy focal point when blooming in summer.
Large swatches of color give this landscape visual punch. A small Tickled Pink hydrangea along the foundation echoes the dazzling display of white blooms of its larger cousin, PeeGee hydrangea. The white flowers eventually mature to a soft pink, complementing the bright red Knock Out roses surrounding the hydrangea. Knock Out roses go full tilt from late spring till late fall.
Like the shrub roses, chives are another low-care plant oozing with color. Although they bloom in late summer, the grasslike foliage looks attractive with or without blooms -- especially against variegated euonymus (shown here).
Terra-cotta pots, painted Valspar Midnight Blue (#249-6), punctuate the entryway and offer a convenient stage for plants. The arrangements are simple -- just cordyline, dusty miller, and asparagus fern -- to keep the landscape from looking fussy with an overabundance of plants. And plants are repeated in each container because it makes the landscape feel more connected.
You can also repeat colors. That’s what we did here with light- and dark-colored plants. Silver and gray are prominent in catmint, dusty miller, and licorice plant (shown here). Sun-loving licorice plants spread easily because the hydrangea is trimmed high enough to allow in sunlight.
Hues of burgundy and purple are repeated with Red Sensation cordyline, Midnight Marvel hibiscus, ninebark, and coralbells (shown here). Because the dark colors can easily get lost in a landscape, we provided contrast not only with silver and gray companion plants but also with lightly colored mulch.
Bright annuals in hues of yellow, orange, blue, pink, and white keep this front entryway looking colorful throughout the summer. Boxwood, barberry, and dwarf mugo pine please the visual senses even longer. The result is a landscape that’s equally adept at bidding a warm welcome or a fond farewell.
A) PeeGee hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora’)
B) Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius)
C) Knock Out shrub rose (Rosa ‘Radrazz’)
D) Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
E) Tickled Pink hydrangea (H. paniculata Tickled Pink)
F) Pink angelonia (Angelonia Serena Lavender Pink)
G) Perennial hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos ‘Midnight Marvel’)
H) Container of ‘Red Sensation’ cordyline, dusty miller (Centaurea cineraria), and asparagus fern (Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’).
I) Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides)
J) Orange calibrachoa
K) Boxwood (Buxus spp.)
L) Silver Fog euphorbia
M) Fan flower (Scaevola aemula New Wonder)
N) Dwarf mugo pine (Pinus mugo var. pumilio)
O) Magenta petunia
P) Cranesbill (Geranium spp.)
Q) Orange lantana (Lantana camara)
R) Sunsation Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii ‘Monry’)
S) Feather reed grass (Calamagrostis acutiflora ‘El Dorado’)
T) Coralbells (Heuchera spp.)
U) Licorice plant (Helichrysum petiolare)
V) Dwarf orange lantana (Lantana camara)