Your home’s entrances should provide easy access through your yard and landscape. First impressions count for a lot, so aesthetic appeal surrounding your landscaping and entryways is important. It’s usually best and easiest to start with the highest traffic entries which are usually from your front door to your parking driveway. Next, assess the paths and walkways to and from all access areas of your home. The plantings that surround these spots should lead a persons eye towards your entries or exits. Side entrances that are used as much or more than your front door, should also be considered. Shrubs, colorful bloom, walkways, border and foundation beds, and lighting may be used.

To create some height with plantings, start by building up towards your house. Start plantings low and then increase the height of your plants as they get closer to the house. This will help direct attention to your entryway. Landscaping beds that border a walkway can distract attention away from the entryway. Think of the beginning of your path or sidewalk simply as an opening directing you towards your door.

Your entryway should be inviting as well as safe. Some moderately good outdoor lighting and even a little visibility can help ensure your safety at night when going from your parking area to your home. If you have a mudroom, laundry room, or utility room that is next to your front or rear entry, plan for making it look good as well as functional for traffic flow.  

What’s the best way to guide visitors through your access entryways? Most professional landscaping contractors basically follow a common pattern here. Walkways, privacy hedges, shrubs, border gardens, edging, fencing, trellises, screens, and railings are options. You can use planters to highlight entryways to certain areas. Raised plant beds, screening, and fencing can also be helpful for hiding places with utilities from sight.

When planting to define access and entry areas, consider the mature size and spread of the plants when spacing. This is often an overlooked consideration in landscaping. Since paths, walkways, and other access areas will usually lead to or near your house, plants should be planted with enough distance from your foundation so that you can maintain both the plantings and home. Plants should be planted far enough from your house and other buildings so that you can take care of them once they are mature size. Given time to grow, shrubs and hedges create a natural boundary and screen while fences create an immediate boundary.

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