Written by David S.
What does your entryway say about your home? In real estate, we refer to the “curb appeal” of a property, the emotional response you have when you see a house and yard. This blog discusses plants that improve the way we feel when we see a home and yard.
There is a long list of words that describe entryways. They include:
- And so many others
What Is an Entryway?
Many people focus on the front door of a home or business as the entryway, which is a good answer. Others, however, consider the entire experience from the sidewalk to the front door as the entryway. A home may have many entry points—the backdoor, side doors, areas that blend outdoor living with indoor living, etc. An entryway can be any of those things.
We will focus on the path from the sidewalk to the front door as an entryway. From that perspective, we will discuss the psychological aspects of landscape, hardscape, and the perspective and experience that you have vs. a visitor.
What Do you Want People To Feel When They Visit?
Generally, we want people who visit us to feel welcome. Therefore, we extend an invitation to friends and family to come over for coffee, Barbecues, holidays, special events, and many other events. Welcoming people to your home means that your front yard and front door area are warm and inviting.
Creating Warm and Inviting
Color is essential when we imbue emotions into an inanimate object — in this case, landscaping. Warm colors include pinks, reds, oranges, and yellows. These colors help break up stark landscaping like the vivid green of a large lawn or the statuesque of beige of house paint. They bring out warmth from what is stark, and they radiate positivity. Flowers that bloom in these colors include:
Canna Lily — are beautiful reds, creamy yellows, and lovely oranges set against beautifully textured plants. Canna lilies grow tall, making an excellent addition to a pot or the background flowers in a bed. Canna lilies are bulbs, and you can plant them outdoors after the last frost date. They also overwinter well indoors. A few Canna Lilies in a mixed pot are amazing.
Coreopsis — the color range includes beautiful burgundies to yellows and whites. One of the strengths of coreopsis is the contrasting centers with the petals. If you want to add lovely drama to a flower bed, mix coreopsis varieties. Plant them thickly to create a wildflower-like bed of beautiful warm colors, or plant them in single types to show off their gorgeous blooms. Coreopsis can also make an informal hedge along a walkway. Those structures are important as they guide your guests to your front door. The warm colors make it easier to follow the path early in the morning or late at night.
Amaryllis — are lovely pink lilies on dainty green stems. These gorgeous flowers are beautiful in clusters or pots. The mid-tone pinks are welcoming and warm, and the flowers are unique and beautiful. Use them in pots on your front porch or in clusters in beds. They range to three feet tall and make an excellent mid-row plant for beds or as a single cultivar in a pot.
Hedges and Border Plants
A beautiful green hedge adds structure to a vivid and warm landscape. Hedges are like gatekeepers — they unofficially guide your guest from point A to point B. Hedges can also frame a gate giving the gate more importance in the landscape. That little trick is also an act of welcoming guests to your home. You want to make it easy for guests to find their way in and outsiders to stay outside. Plants that work well as hedges include
Boxwoods — are an official hedge plant. Boxwoods come in various sizes, and the dwarf variety may take years to reach one foot in height. Even with short stature, they guide and outline walkways.
Junipers — The beautiful blue-greens of junipers and their ability to handle hot, dry summers make them a lovely hedge plant. Junipers are generally slow-growing but can make an attractive formal hedge.
Non-shrubbery plants for hedges can include many of the perineal herbs, such as rosemary. Bushy flowering plants can also be planted to create a non-formal hedge. Shasta daisy is an excellent example of a plant that can produce gorgeous blooms and still be dense enough to form a border.
Potted Plants and Containers
Containers full of flowering plants are another way to welcome people to your home. The idea of potted plants on your front stoop is fantastic. One of the pros here is switching out the planters as the seasons’ change or for holidays. Where you had a container of canna lilies, you placed a dwarf conifer for the winter holidays. Where you had a container of daffodils in spring, you set a container of dahlia for the summer. That versatility allows you to change your greeting as the seasons change.
What Does Your Yard Say to Visitors?
An excellent place to start as you begin to think about creating a welcoming entryway is to stand outside your gate and feel what your yard has to say. Leave behind the guise of the homeowner and put on the hat of a visitor. What do you feel? How does the landscape affect you? Is the message you hear what you want to say to guests? Of course, these questions are highly subjective, but they are the foundations of what we want to change as we create warm and inviting landscaping.
Another excellent way to add warmth to your front landscaping is to consider the use of decorative pots. Beautiful artisan ceramic pots filled with lovely warm-tone flowers add a bit of luxury and warmth to the landscape. There are many ways to create a beautifully lush and welcoming landscape. Visit any of our five Southern California nurseries to gather ideas about flowers, products, pots, and designs that fit your home or small business. Be sure to take advantage of our plant experts, who are happy to answer your questions, discuss plant options, or point you to products or tools that help you succeed in adding warm and inviting landscaping to your yard.