5 Great Entryway Designs (& Mistakes to Avoid)

 In Garden Tips

It is said that it takes the human mind just a few seconds to make a first impression and then several minutes to change that impression. The same is right about every home’s entry. Garden entryways are an often overlooked area of opportunity for raising one’s curb appeal. A landscape architect can help achieve this.

And to that, I say: “missed opportunity.” Your entryway allows you to incorporate many organic and inorganic features. These features elevate the function and aesthetic of your home, all in one spot. 

With that said, I’ll give you a few ideas you can start to think about when it comes to your entryway landscape design. 

Tennessee Landscaping Ideas: Rockscaping

Landscapes that make great use of contrast and accents look sharper and stand out more than landscapes that don’t. One of the best ways to create contrast and accents is by adding impressive boulders to your landscape. 

You can use rock or stone features in many ways. For example, making a bed border around a garden or making a rock spillway for drainage. These “permanent” landscape features are great for creating textural interest. Also, they add variation to an otherwise filled landscape with solely plant materials.

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Consider Adding Perennial Color in Front of Your Home

A quick way to draw attention to your home is by adding a splash of color at the garden entryway. I suggest planting perennial flowers. Some of my favorites include purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan, and New England Aster, to name a few. Every year they bloom, you and your neighbors or visitors will get to see a vibrant array of gold, purple or pink, depending on the exact species you choose. 

These perennials are also very affordable and require little maintenance once planted. My one side note of caution here is to watch out for these plants’ growth since they can become unwieldy, but get in touch with me if you need some tips on pruning and trimming them. I’ve learned that one trick is to cut some taller, fall-blooming perennials halfway back in early summer to allow for lowered blooms when they regenerate. 

Bring in a Birdbath

Apart from serving as a useful way to attract some of nature’s prettiest winged creatures, Birdbaths contribute a decorative appeal to garden entryways. They’re also inexpensive and easy to setup. A birdbath is also one of the lowest-maintenance water features you can own since they require virtually no upkeep. These, however, are “no maintenance.” Give your birdbath a proper cleaning every couple of weeks to keep them fresh and their visitors happy.

Don’t forget about texture either. There are ceramic birdbaths, metallic ones and stone options, among others. If you’re crafty, there are some excellent YouTube videos out there that provide step-by-step instruction for building a “leaf imprint” birdbath, such as the one I’ve constructed below for my “adopt a spot” garden down the street.

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Add a Fresh Layer of Pine Straw Mulch

Mulch doesn’t have the infinite lifespan or appeal that so many gardeners think it does. It can start to decompose (improving soil structure) or look worn over time. 

With that said, merely replacing old mulch with fresh can restore your garden’s visual appeal.  Mulch is generally cheap, so you don’t have to overspend if you decide to go this route. 

The quantity of mulch your garden will need depends on the size of your flowerbeds. However, a quick landscape architect consultation can help you determine the amount your garden needs. I realize it’s a matter of personal taste, but if you have deciduous trees, you have ready-made leaf mulch that can look quite nice in a garden if placed and contained correctly. Some of my other writings explain more thoroughly.

Entryway Design Mistakes to Avoid 

For the most part, there’s plenty of room for experimentation and creativity when it comes to designing a garden entryway. But there are some “rules” to consider before crafting your entrance, rules that will save you money, time and effort. 

  • Installing Before Designing – This point is a no-brainer, but time and time again, I see gardeners jump in the trenches without a plan. And they’re disappointed when they realize that certain features don’t fit well or simply look bad. So, the best way to avoid this is to plan, ideally, with a blueprint that visualizes the entryway with measurements and dimensions displayed. 
  • Avoid an empty driveway with no visual complexity – Don’t have your driveway look like a commercial parking lot. While you’ll want to ensure you have physical space for vehicles, you can make a vast driveway look smaller with the right changes. Textural contrast and visual contrast can make an expansive driveway look smaller in visual scale—design with both people and vehicles in mind. Adding swaths of level but complimenting texture can help direct both cars and visitors. 
  • Know When to Call an Expert – Of all the things gardeners can cultivate, humility might be the hardest one of them all (small joke), especially true for the most seasoned gardeners out there. Nevertheless, when confronted with a very ambitious or complex project, it’s advisable to consult a licensed landscape architect. They can help you avoid the pitfalls of construction that a non-trained eye simply can’t see. 

Start Your Entryway on the Right Foot with a Landscape Architect in Knoxville, TN

Entryways provide an excellent opportunity to elevate your home’s curb appeal and compliment the design of your surrounding landscape. The five methods listed above are simple and cost-effective ways to do so. Many homeowners swear by them to beautify their homes and increase resale value. 

With that said, if you’re looking to incorporate any of these techniques into your entryway, contact me: a landscape architect with years of experience in perfecting outdoor spaces. I’ve worked on many, many projects, and I can guide you through the design process. 

Whether it’s native design, a landscape plan which suits your budget, or just someone to take out the guesswork, we can make something great together. 

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